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In light of challenges presented by COVID-19, Princeton suspends undergraduate standardized testing

Due to the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19, including the disruption to coursework this spring and the lack of access to the ACT and SAT, Princeton will pause on its standardized testing requirement as part of its holistic review process for the 2020-21 application cycle.

Additionally, the University will move to one undergraduate application deadline of Jan. 1, 2021, for this first-year admission cycle. All applicants will apply using either the Coalition Application or Common Application through the Regular Decision process and will receive decisions on their applications by April 1, 2021. Princeton will continue to partner with QuestBridge and participate in the National College Match in December and transfer applicants will have an application deadline of early March.

University leadership considered the many hurdles students — especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and underrepresented communities — families, counselors and school administrators will have to overcome in the months ahead due to changes within school communities. “We know returning to classes in fall 2020 will require students and staff to acclimate to an altered environment,” said Karen Richardson, dean of admission and a member of Princeton’s Class of 1993. “We hope that by pausing our Single-Choice Early Action program this year it will reduce some of the pressure on applicants and give them the time to prepare their strongest applications.”

Students who sit for a standardized test and wish to submit their score will still have the option to do so. However, because of the change to policy this year, applications without test scores will be rendered complete. Students who do not submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage. The University has not required subject tests for several years.

This one-year standardized testing policy change extends to transfer applicants, many of whom are veterans or active-duty military.

Recruited athletes will still need to adhere to the Ivy League policy and submit standardized testing, though the Admission Office will be flexible in its review for those who simply cannot gain access.

Princeton provides financial aid in the form of grants, which do not have to be repaid. It does not require any loans, so students can graduate debt free. More than 80% of recent seniors have graduated debt free. This spring, the trustees of Princeton University reconfirmed the University’s commitment to ensuring that a Princeton education is affordable for every student even at this time of economic uncertainty.

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