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Seton Hall becomes test-optional for 2021 applicants

Seton Hall will not require applicants for the fall 2021 semester to submit standardized test scores, such as the SAT and ACT the University’s Office of Admissions announced last Monday. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ACT inc. and The College Board, who proctor the ACT and SAT, respectively, canceled many of their testing dates and have closed many of their testing sites. The College Board website also warns that “test centers will have reduced capacity because of social distancing guidelines, and they may encounter "unexpected closures” this year. These circumstances prompted Seton Hall and other universities across the country to adopt test-optional policies for 2021.

Seton Hall University announced that it would be test optional for applicants next year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. (Lecroitg/Pixbay)

According to the Seton Hall University Office of Admissions’ website, the new test-optional policy will not be permanent and as of now will only be offered for students applying for the fall 2021 semester.

“The test-optional policy is a temporary policy change to accommodate students during the difficult circumstances created by the global COVID-19 pandemic,” the website said, “We recognize that many students have been unable to take standardized tests and we want to minimize stress and anxiety and ensure students have access to a Seton Hall education.”

The Office of Admissions’ website said they will be taking a “holistic approach” while looking at applications. It also mentioned there will be an emphasis on an applicant’s high school academic record. 

Seton Hall is not the first school to make this adjustment to their admissions processes due to COVID-19. Harvard, Boston University, and Rutgers University are among those also implementing similar test optional policies for fall 2021 applicants. 

The College Board, the organization that administers the SATs, has addressed colleges and universities being more flexible with students in regards to standardized testing for the fall of 2021. In a press release from June 2, College Board CEO David Coleman urged colleges to be flexible with students due to the circumstances created by COVID-19.

"There are more important things than tests right now,” Coleman said, “In making these difficult decisions we focused on reducing the anxiety that students and families are experiencing this year. We therefore are asking our member colleges to be flexible toward students who can’t submit scores, who submit them later, or who did not have a chance to test more than once."

Prospective Seton Hall applicants for 2021 who want to learn more about the test optional policy can find more details and information on the Seton Hall Office of Admissions’ website. 

Genevieve Krupchek can be reached at

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