Harvard won't require standardized testing for admissions for next four years, pandemic a factor

The school is one of many that appears to be moving away from the standardized tests
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Harvard University building
Harvard University building
(Scott Eisen / Getty Images)

Harvard College announced this week that it will no longer require standardized testing scores for applicants applying to the Ivy League university through the class of 2030. The decision comes after the college previously opted to waive standardized test scores for the classes of 2025 and 2026 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The school's dean of admissions, William Fitzsimmons, said applicants who opt not to submit test scores will not be viewed any differently than those who do.

"Their applications will be considered on the basis of what they have presented, and they are encouraged to send whatever materials they believe would convey their accomplishments in secondary school and their promise for the future," he said in a statement.

Harvard joins a growing list of institutions of higher learning that are doing away with standardized testing, at least for now. 

On Wednesday, the University of Kansas announced it would create a pathway to admission for students who chose not to sit for the exam, so long as they have a high school GPA of 3.25 or higher.

For many years an argument has been mounting that standardized tests including the SAT and ACT are biased against students of color, allegations that the organizations behind the tests have adamantly denied. The pandemic, however, has acted as a catalyst to do away with the tests on a, so far, semi-permanent basis.