Pitt goes test-optional through fall 2023

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Pitt’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid announced Wednesday afternoon that it extended its ACT and SAT test-optional policy through fall 2023 for first-year applicants in all programs, majors, schools and colleges.

By Rebecca Johnson, News Editor

Pitt’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid announced Wednesday afternoon that it extended its ACT and SAT test-optional policy through fall 2023 for first-year applicants in all programs, majors, schools and colleges.

Provost Ann Cudd said Pitt was extending the policy because of the “challenges of the pandemic” and to develop a more holistic admissions process.

“By becoming test-optional through 2023, we are not only responding to the challenges of the pandemic but also opening doors for students whose diverse talents and potential for leadership may not be well measured by standardized tests,” Cudd said. “Evaluating our students holistically continues to be central to our admissions approach.”

This program was first introduced last April at Pitt’s regional campuses, which became test-optional for fall 2020. Pitt’s Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences announced in July that it too would become test-optional for fall 2021.The College of Business Administration, Swanson School of Engineering and School of Computing and Information followed suit in August.

According to Pitt’s admissions website, students should apply without an SAT or ACT score if their test scores aren’t “an accurate reflection of their past academic performance and future academic potential.” It said students should apply with a score if it adds to their application.

Some of the “holistic review factors” Pitt considers, according to OAFA, are grade trends, grades in advanced classes, short-answer questions, extracurricular activities, a personal statement and supplemental documents such as a letter of recommendation or a resumé.

Kellie Kane, associate vice provost for enrollment and executive director of admissions, said the test-optional program will reduce stress among future applicants. Pitt is among more than 1,600 colleges and universities across the country that are test-optional for fall 2021 admissions, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

“Implementation of Pitt’s test-optional pilot program has eliminated a worrisome constraint for many students, as well as reduced the stress load on students and families for what has been and will continue to be — at least for the near future — a historically stressful college admission and selection process,” Kane said.

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