Feature Stories Campus Events

W&L to Make SAT and ACT Optional for Students Applying for Fall 2021 Due to the lack of clarity around testing availability in the coming months, W&L will adopt a one-year test optional policy.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to create extraordinary challenges for high school and college students around the globe, Washington and Lee University will adopt a one-year test optional policy for first-year students applying for admission in the 2020-21 application cycle.

“Given the cancellation of spring and summer tests, and a lack of clarity around testing availability in the coming months, our intent is to assist prospective students as they navigate their college application process,” said Sally Stone Richmond, W&L’s vice president for admissions and financial aid.

“While we continue to believe that standardized tests, placed in the context of our holistic application review, remain an instructive measure across a large and diverse applicant pool, we also believe it is important to support students applying to W&L during this challenging time.”

Fall 2021 first-year undergraduate applicants will still be required to submit either the Common Application or QuestBridge application, but will have the option of applying for admission to W&L without submitting an ACT or SAT score. If they wish, applicants may choose to submit test scores from any standardized testing sitting, and those scores will still be among the factors considered for admission. Those who opt to submit scores may also still self-report their scores.

“W&L’s application evaluation will remain comprehensive and holistic, and will continue to focus on students’ academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, leadership and integrity,” said Richmond.

Even while under stay-at-home orders, prospective applicants will continue to have opportunities to engage with admissions through virtual visits and admissions officers will continue to conduct individual interviews as a part of the university’s holistic application review.

Applicants will also have the continued option of applying for the university’s Johnson Scholarship as part of the application process. The Johnson Program awards at least full-tuition, room and board merit scholarships to approximately 10% of the incoming class each year.