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#TestOptionalNOW Petition Gains Momentum as 14 Schools Announce Test-Optional Policies

Student Voice's #TestOptionalNOW campaign gains momentum as 14 colleges and universities announce plans to go test-optional for applicants entering their school in Fall 2021.

Press Release
March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

NORTH CAROLINA — Since Student Voice launched our #TestOptionalNOW campaign on Monday, March 23, 713 individuals have signed on to our petition calling on colleges and universities across the country to adopt test-optional admissions policies for the 2020-2021 cycle. During that same period, 14 colleges and universities have announced new test-optional plans for current high school juniors and the numbers continue to grow every day.  

Emanuelle Sippy, Co-director of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team and a junior at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky said, “By adopting test-optional policies, colleges and universities help mitigate the systemic inequities being exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. Their decisions recognize that students are under immense pressure, dealing with not only an unprecedented global pandemic but also economic, familial, social, and emotional obstacles.”

Student Voice is asking adult allies across the country to join our effort by reaching out to their Alma Mater’s and asking that they adopt test-optional policies for current juniors in order to preserve equity in access for those young people facing the brunt of the Covid-19 Crisis. 

Merrit Jones, President of Student Voice and a Junior at UNC-Chapel Hill said, “We know that students from lower-income households and traditionally marginalized communities are facing the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis. We also know that standardized tests like the ACT and SAT  disproportionally disadvantage those same students. We have turned an already bad situation into an equity crisis — colleges and universities must respond.” 

Specifically, Student Voice is urging colleges and universities to:

  • Eliminate standardized testing requirements and adopt test-optional application policies for all applicants to their institution during the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
  • Announce their intention to discontinue standardized testing requirements for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle as soon as possible to mitigate future applicants’ concerns about meeting testing requirements.
  • Reflect on the value of standardized assessments in the college admissions process and the implications testing requirements have on equitable access to the college application process.

The following schools have adopted test-optional policies following the launch of our campaign: 

  • Anderson University (IN)
  • Boston University (MA)
  • Chestnut Hill College (PA)
  • Concordia University (TX)
  • Drury University(MO)
  • Neumann University (PA)
  • Portland State University (OR)
  • Scripps College (CA)
  • Tufts University (MA)
  • University of Oregon (OR)
  • Western Michigan University (MI)
  • Quincy University (IL)
  • University of the Cumberlands (KY)
  • Northern Kentucky University (KY)

Our COVID-19 Response: 
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Student Voice is committed to addressing the educational inequity exacerbated by this health crisis through rapid response advocacy campaigns and digital organizing. We will provide critical community space among social distancing, educate young people on the relationship between systemic injustice and the contemporary education system and help student organizers base build through coalition work for long-term, substantive action beyond this health crisis. Our COVID-19 response can be tracked at

About Student Voice

Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. Through direct civic action, Student Voice helps students hold their schools and surrounding communities accountable to the Student Bill of Rights and prepares them to become lifelong agents of social and political change. For more information about Student Voice, visit our website at and follow @Stu_Voice and #StuVoice on social media.

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