Blog

Colleges Extending Test-Optional Policies for 2021-22

Many colleges are extending the test-optional policy for the 2021-2022 college application cycle. Please see below for the specific test policies for each respective college:

SchoolTest-Optional for:
Alfred University2020-21 application cycle
Alma College2020-21 application cycle
Amherst CollegeExtended through Fall 2023 admission
Anderson UniversityPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Babson CollegeExtended through Fall 2025 admission
Barnard CollegeExtended through Fall 2023 admission
Baylor UniversityExtended through Fall 2023 admission
Bentley UniversityExtended through Fall 2023 admission
Bethel UniversityPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Boston CollegeExtended through 2022-23 application cycle
Boston University2020-21 application cycle
Brown UniversityExtended through 2021-22 application cycle
Buena Vista University2020-21 application cycle
Butler UniversityPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Cal State systemExtended through Spring 2023 admission
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)2-year period beginning with the 2020-21 admissions cycle
California Lutheran University2020-21 application cycle
Carleton College2020-21 application cycle
Carnegie Mellon University2020-21 application cycle
Case Western Reserve University2020-21 application cycle
Centre College3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 admissions cycle
Claremont McKenna College2020-21 application cycle
Coastal Carolina University2020-21 application cycle
Colgate University3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
College of CharlestonExtended through Fall 2023 admission
College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University (Minnesota)Permanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
College of WoosterPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Columbia UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Cooper Union2-year period beginning with the 2020-21 admissions cycle
Concordia University2020-21 application cycle
Cornell UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Dartmouth CollegeExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Davidson CollegePermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Drexel University2020-21 application cycle
Drury UniversityPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Duke University2020-21 application cycle
Elon University3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Emory UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Fordham University2-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Georgetown University2020-21 application cycle
Gonzaga University2020-21 application cycle
Grand Valley State University2020-21 application cycle
Grinnell College2020-21 application cycle
Hamilton CollegeExtended through 2023 admission
Harvard UniversityExtending for 2021-22 application cycle
Harvey Mudd CollegeExtended through 2022 admission
Haverford College3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Indiana University – BloomingtonPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Indiana University – South BendPermanently beginning in for fall 2020 admission
Johns Hopkins UniversityExtended through Fall 2022 admission
Lafayette CollegeExtended through Fall 2022 admission
Lehigh University2020-21 application cycle
Limestone UniversityFall 2020 admission
Loyola Marymount University2020-21 application cycle
Loyola University – New OrleansPermanently test-blind beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Macalester CollegePermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Mansfield UniversityFall 2020 admission
Meredith College2020-21 application cycle
Middlebury College3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Millersville UniversityExtended through Fall 2022 admission
MIT2020-21 application cycle (Will also no longer accept SAT Subject Test scores for consideration starting with the 2020-21 admissions cycle.)
Montana University system2020-21 application cycle
New York UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Northeastern University2020-21 application cycle
Northwestern UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Oakland University2-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Oberlin College3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Oregon State UniversityPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Penn State University2020-21 application cycle; extended through 2022-23 cycle
Pepperdine University­­International students for the 2020-21 application cycle
Pomona College2020-21 application cycle
Princeton UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)2020-21 application cycle
Rhodes College3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Rice UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Rochester Institute of TechnologyPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Rutgers UniversityExtended through 2022 admission
Saginaw Valley State University2020-21 application cycle for students with 3.0 or higher GPA
Saint Louis UniversityPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
Santa Clara University2-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Scripps CollegePermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
St. Mary’s University2020-21 application cycle
St. Olaf CollegePermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
St. Thomas Aquinas CollegeFall 2020 admission
Stanford UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Swarthmore College2-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Syracuse UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Texas Christian UniversityExtended through the 2023 admission
Texas Tech University2020-21 application cycle
Trinity University3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Tufts University3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Tulane UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
Union CollegeExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
University of California system2020-21 application cycle
University of Connecticut3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
University of Delaware2020-21 application cycle
University of Hawaii2020-21 application cycle
University of LouisvilleExtended through 2022 admission
University of Miami2020-21 application cycle
University of Michigan2020-21 application cycle
University of Notre DameExtended through Fall 2023 admission
University of OregonPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
University of PennsylvaniaExtended for 2021-22 application cycle
University of PittsburghExtended through 2022-23 application cycle
University of RichmondExtended through Spring 2022 admission
University of San DiegoPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
University of Southern CaliforniaExtended through Spring 2024 admission
University of Texas – AustinExtended for the 2021-22 cycle
University of ToledoPermanently beginning in the 2020-21 cycle
University of VirginiaExtended two years through 2022-23 application cycle
UVA Wise2020-21 application cycle
University of WashingtonPermanently beginning the 2020-21 cycle
Vanderbilt UniversityExtended through 2022 admission
Vassar CollegeExtended through Fall 2023 admission
Villanova UniversityExtended through Fall 2022 admission
Virginia Tech2020-21 application cycle
Washington & Lee UniversityExtended through Fall 2022 admission
Washington University in St. LouisExtended through Fall 2022 admission
Wayland Baptist University2020-21 application cycle
Wellesley CollegeExtended through Fall 2022 admission
Westminster CollegePermanently beginning the 2020-21 cycle
William & Mary3-year period beginning with the 2020-21 cycle
Williams CollegeExtended for next two years (2021-22 & 2022-23 cycles)
Yale UniversityExtended for 2021-22 application cycle

Class of 2025 Early Decision Notification Dates

It’s time! You’ve worked so hard throughout high school and on your applications. Please see below for the list of Early Decision notification dates:

SchoolEarly Decision Notification Date
Amherst CollegeDecember 11, 2020 after 6 pm ET
Babson CollegeMid-December
Barnard CollegeDecember 14, 2020
Bates CollegeDecember 20th (Early Decision I)
Boston CollegeED I: December 3, 2020
Boston UniversityDecember 14, 2020
Bowdoin CollegeDecember 11, 2020 at 7 pm ET
Brandeis UniversityDecember 15
Brown UniversityDecember 17, 2020 at 2 pm ET
CaltechMid-December
Carleton CollegeDecember 10, 2020 at 8:00pm CT
Carnegie Mellon UniversityDecember 12, 2020 at 9 am ET
Case Western Reserve UniversityED I: December 7, 2020
Colorado CollegeDecember 16, 2020 at 4pm MT
Columbia UniversityDecember 15, 2020 after 7 pm ET
Cornell UniversityDecember 17, 2020 at 7 pm ET
Dartmouth CollegeDecember 16, 2020 in the afternoon
Davidson CollegeDecember 15, 2020 at 9 pm ET
Duke UniversityDecember 18, 2020
Emerson CollegeMid-December
Emory UniversityED I: December 9, 2020 at 6 pm ET
Fordham UniversityDecember 19, 2020
George Mason UniversityMid-December
George WashingtonUniversityLate-December
Georgetown UniversityDecember 13, 2020
Georgia TechEA 1: December 4 at 5 pm ET
Hamilton CollegeDecember 15
Harvard UniversityDecember 17, 2020 at 7 pm ET
Harvey MuddDecember 11, 2020 at 6 pm PT
Johns Hopkins UniversityED I: December 11, 2020 at 3:00 pm ET
Lehigh UniversityED I: December 10, 2020
Middlebury CollegeDecember 12, 2020 after 8 am ET
MITDecember 19, 2020 at 3:14 pm ET
New York UniversityDecember 15, 2020
Northeastern UniversityDecember 9, 2020
Northwestern UniversityDecember 18, 2020 time TBD
Oberlin CollegeDecember 15th
Occidental CollegeDecember 15th
Pomona CollegeBy December 15
Princeton UniversityN/A
Rice UniversityDecember 10, 2020 after 5 pm CT
Stanford UniversityDecember 11, 2020 at 4 pm PT
Suffolk UniversityDecember 17 & 22, 2020
Swarthmore CollegeED I: December 15, 2020 at 7 pm ET
Texas Christian University (TCU)EA: December 11, 2020 at 5 pm CT
Tufts UniversityDecember 15, 2020 at 7 pm ET
Tulane UniversityDecember 17, 2020 at 3:30pm CT (confirmed)
University of ChicagoDecember 21, 2020 in the afternoon
University of GeorgiaNov. 20, 2020
University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignMid-February
University of MiamiLate December
University of MichiganLate January
University of Notre DameDecember 16, 2020 at 6:42 pm ET
University of PennsylvaniaDecember 16, 2020 at 7 pm ET
University of RichmondDecember 15th
University of San FranciscoMid-December
University of Texas at AustinBy February 1
University of VermontDecember 17th
University of VirginiaDecember 11, 2020
Vanderbilt UniversityDecember 15, 2020 after 5 pm CT
Villanova UniversityBy December 15th
Virginia TechBy December 15th 
Washington & Lee UniversityDecember 16, 2020 at 8 pm ET
Washington University in St. LouisDecember 14, 2020
Wellesley CollegeDecember 12, 2020 at 10 am ET
Wesleyan UniversityED 1: December 12, 2020
William & MaryDecember 7, 2020 at 5 pm ET
Williams CollegeDecember 11, 2020
Worcester Polytechnic InstituteDecember 14, 2020 at 5 pm ET
Yale UniversityDecember 16, 2020 after 5 pm ET

Virtual College Tours

By: Rachael Flores

With the spread of COVID-19, most universities took action by closing its campuses for the summer. In order to help prospective students get a better sense of their school, many colleges have established virtual online campus tours. These tours are conducted via video, virtual reality, and/or live sessions. Although some schools schedule tours by appointment, many allow visitors to virtually visit at their own leisure.

Virtual tours have many benefits, including decreased costs, increased tour scheduling flexibility, and the ability to revisit universities at any time. Info sessions are also operated virtually, which allows students and parents to ask questions anytime, anywhere. 

Top Admissions Consulting encourages students to remain active during their college search and visit their dream schools. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the top universities offering virtual tours, including:

  1. Princeton University
  2. Harvard 
  3. University of Pennsylvania
  4. Columbia University
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  6. Yale University
  7. Stanford University
  8. University of Chicago
  9. Northwestern University
  10. Duke University
  11. Johns Hopkins University
  12. California Institute of Technology
  13. Dartmouth College
  14. Brown University
  15. University of Notre Dame
  16. Vanderbilt University
  17. Cornell University
  18. Rice University
  19. Washington University in St. Louis
  20. University of California–Los Angeles
  21. Emory University
  22. University of California–Berkeley
  23. University of Southern California
  24. Georgetown University
  25. Carnegie Mellon University
  26. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
  27. Wake Forest University
  28. University of Virginia
  29. Georgia Institute of Technology
  30. New York University
  31. Tufts University
  32. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
  33. University of Rochester
  34. University of California–Santa Barbara
  35. University of Florida
  36. University of California–Irvine
  37. Boston College
  38. University of California–San Diego
  39. University of California–Davis
  40. Boston University
  41. Brandeis University
  42. Case Western Reserve University
  43. College of William and Mary
  44. Northeastern University
  45. Tulane University
  46. University of Wisconsin–Madison
  47. Villanova University
  48. University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign
  49. University of Texas–Austin
  50. Lehigh University
  51. Pepperdine University
  52. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  53. University of Georgia

COVID-19 Impact on SAT/ACT Tests

SAT/ACT Tests Optional for Certain Colleges in 2020-2021 Application Cycle

By: Rachael Flores

COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the education system around the world as most students have transitioned to online classes. In the US, government officials continue to encourage social distancing, which in effect has resulted in many extracurricular activities to be canceled, and standardized tests to be postponed. This has caused a lot of strain as many students struggle to reconfigure their plans to adjust to this new normal. Despite the challenges of this new environment, there are actually many opportunities that students can take advantage of from home in order to build their profile and stand out. 

For rising seniors applying for college, this time of uncertainty has prompted universities to revise their application processes and remove traditional criteria. For example, Yale University states, “We also recognize that many students’ personal circumstances may make it especially difficult to achieve at their typical academic level during this time. These considerations will also be part of our committee’s whole-person review.” Yale also adds that students will not receive penalization if there are missing letter grades during this course period. 

Like many other top colleges, Yale has also omitted SAT subject tests scores for 2020- 2021 applicants. The university states, “The tests will play no role of the evaluation process for first-year applicants this year.” Scores from other exams such as AP’s, IB’s and AICE’s may be submitted (but not required). Several universities have now implemented temporary test optional policies for this year’s application pool. 

Please see below for a list of colleges where SAT and ACT test submissions are either not required or optional for the 2020-2021 application cycle:



What to Do If You’ve Been Deferred

Over the years, it’s gotten increasingly difficult to get into top colleges as they are receiving increasing numbers of highly qualified students during the Early Decision/Early Action (EA/ED) process. As a result, many students may be deferred, which means that your application will be reviewed during the regular decision round.

There are numerous reasons why you could’ve been deferred. For example, you were considered a borderline applicant, which means that your application was generally pretty good, but not spectacular. Thus, college admissions officers hope to review your application again, and see how you compare relative to students in the regular decision pool. Furthermore, colleges would probably like to see your senior year first semester scores before making a decision.

While it may be hard to get a deferral letter, have heart! Here’s what you can do if you’ve been deferred:

  1. Carefully read your deferral letter, as each school’s deferral letter is different and may contain unique instructions on next steps. Follow their instructions as described.
  2. Respond to your deferral notification and let the college know that you’re still interested. How do you do this?
    • If the deferral letter notes that you should log into an online portal to submit your response, you should do it this way.
    • Otherwise, you should write a letter to the college, notifying them of your continued interest in their school, how you’re a good fit and updating them of any new information.
  3. Strengthen your extracurricular activities. Colleges like to see concrete accomplishments, so this will be an important time to develop your extracurricular activities in a way that’s unique, deep and meaningful.
  4. Consider retaking standardized tests to get higher scores
  5. Work with your guidance counselor/teachers to prepare updated letters of recommendation.

If you still have more questions about how to overcome the deferral process, feel free to contact us! We will provide individualized, one-on-one guidance to help you navigate this complex process.

Class of 2024 Regular Decision Notification Dates

After all of your hard work over the past few years, you must be excited to see where you’ll be accepted into college this year! Here are the regular decision notification dates for the class of 2024.

Some of the colleges haven’t posted an exact date yet, so check back regularly for updates!

SchoolRegular Decision Notification Date
Amherst CollegeAround March 20
Bard CollegeEnd of March
Barnard CollegeLate March
Bates CollegeBy April 1
Boston CollegeBy April 1
Boston UniversityLate March
Bowdoin CollegeEarly April
Brandeis UniversityApril 1
Brown UniversityTBD
Bryn Mawr CollegeTBD
Bucknell UniversityBy April 1
California Institute of TechnologyMid-March
Carleton CollegeApril 1
Carnegie Mellon UniversityNo later than April 15
Case Western Reserve UniversityOn or about March 20
Claremont McKenna CollegeApril 1
Colby CollegeBy April 1
Colgate UniversityMid-March
College of William & MaryBy April 1
Columbia UniversityOn or before April 1
Cornell UniversityTBD
Dartmouth CollegeTBD
Davidson CollegeApril 1
Drexel UniversityBy April 1
Duke UniversityApril 1
Emerson CollegeBeginning of April
Emory UniversityBy April 1
George Washington UniversityBy late March
Georgetown UniversityApril 1
Georgia Institute of TechnologyMarch 14, 2020
Goucher CollegeBy April 1
Grinnell CollegeLate March/Early April
Hamilton CollegeMarch 19, 2020 at 8 pm ET
Harvard UniversityTBD
Harvey Mudd CollegeMarch 13, 2020 at 3 pm ET
Haverford CollegeEarly April
James Madison UniversityMid/Late March
Johns Hopkins UniversityBy April 1
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMid-March
Middlebury CollegeMarch 21, 2020
New York UniversityApril 1
Northeastern UniversityBy April 1
Northwestern UniversityLate March
Pitzer CollegeApril 1
Pomona CollegeBy April 1
Princeton UniversityTBD
Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteMarch 7, 2020
Rhode Island School of DesignMailed Third Week of March
Rice UniversityBy April 1
Rochester Institute of TechnologyMailed by mid-March
Sarah Lawrence CollegeLate March through early April
Smith CollegeLate March
Southern Methodist UniversityMarch 31
Stanford UniversityApril 1
Swarthmore CollegeBy April 1
Syracuse UniversityLate March
Tufts UniversityBy April 1
University of California-BerkeleyEnd of March
University of California-DavisMid-March
University of California-Los AngelesBy Late March
University of California-San DiegoBy the End of March
University of ChicagoLate March
University of GeorgiaLate March
University of Maryland-College ParkBy April 1
University of Massachusetts-AmherstEarly March
University of MichiganTBD
University of North Carolina-Chapel HillBy the end of March
University of Notre DameLate March
University of PennsylvaniaTBD
University of RichmondApril 1
University of Southern CaliforniaBy April 1
University of VirginiaEnd of March
Vanderbilt UniversityApril 1
Vassar CollegeLate March
Villanova UniversityLate March
Wake Forest UniversityBy April 1
Washington and Lee UniversityApril 1
Washington University in St. LouisBy March 20
Wellesley CollegeLate March
Wesleyan UniversityLate March
Williams CollegeBy April 1
Worcester Polytechnic UniversityApril 1
Yale UniversityTBD