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University Drops Standardized Testing Requirement To Eliminate Applicants ‘Stress’

West Virginia University (WVU) will no longer require applicants to submit standardized testing scores in order to mitigate “stress,” according to WVU Today.

The decision, formally announced on Monday, will permanently adopt the test-optional policies that were put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic when testing facilities were not accessible, according to WVU Today. The temporary measure was extended three times to reduce “stress” in the application process and will officially be adopted as WVU’s admission policy after the current extension expires at the end of the spring 2024 semester.

“Students have been embracing test-optional admissions processes as part of their college searches since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and, going forward, we have an obligation to remove any barriers that may deter those interested in higher education,” George Zimmerman, assistant vice president for enrollment management, told WVU Today.

WVU will be the first school in the Mountain state to formally ditch standardized testing in the admission process, according to WVU Today. It joins the ranks of more than 1,800 higher education institutions that have formalized such policies.

“Giving students the flexibility to choose whether or not standardized tests are included in their college applications has shown to be effective in helping them feel more in control of the process,” Zimmerman told WVU Today.

Students are welcome to submit their SAT or ACT score with their application but students who do not will not be hurt by the decision, its admissions website reads. The submitted scores are only used if they are to the “advantage” of the student.

Some students will still be required to submit standardized test scores depending on their intended program, according to WVU. Students who are awarded the Promise Scholarship, which is sponsored by the state and provides up to $5,000 for up to four years, are required to submit standardized test scores.

The permanent test-optional policy was approved by the Board of Governors during an April 21 meeting, according to WVU Today.

WVU, the Board of Governors and Zimmerman did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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