Harvard University is making SAT and ACT scores optional for admissions until 2026.
The Ivy League school waived the need for the scores last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It signals a shift in how the prestigious university is prepared to assess applicants in the future.
Harvard University is making SAT and ACT scores optional until 2026 for those applying to the prestigious school, extending a policy that it started last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university said Thursday.
The announcement is a milestone in the growing drive to reduce the value of standardized testing in university applications. More colleges — including Ivy League schools — are waiving the need for SAT and ACT scores as the pandemic restricted students from getting to testing sites.
"Students who do not submit standardized testing this coming year will not be disadvantaged in the application process," the university wrote in its announcement.
The move signals that one of the world's biggest names in education is prepared to assess hopefuls differently from before.
"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."
Applicants can still choose to send in their SAT and ACT scores if they want to, but the test results are "only one factor among many" in getting accepted, the university's statement said.
Harvard University did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Over 1,230 colleges and universities, including the University of Chicago, had already made the SAT and ACT optional before the pandemic, The New York Times previously reported.
While the tests are often touted as a way for universities to discover bright students in all demographics, critics say they are skewed toward wealthier families who can afford private test prep and tutoring.
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