Stock photo of standardized test.
Stock photo of standardized test.

Submitting ACT or SAT test scores will be optional for first-time freshman applying for admission to the University of Louisville in fall 2021 due to disruptions caused by COVID-19.

The coronavirus pandemic prompted some spring test dates to be canceled or postponed. The uncertainty over future testing options caused concern for high school juniors and their families. UofL hopes to alleviate some of that anxiety by making the tests optional.

Tests still will be required for certain programs, such as those in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, School of Nursing and College of Business. Most scholarships, including competitive and mentored scholarships, also will continue to require test scores. UofL will have some merit aid available for students without test scores.

“We have always attempted to look at students holistically,” said Jenny Sawyer, UofL’s executive director of admissions, “especially students with excellent grades, a strong desire to learn and be a college graduate and those without the resources of others. This gives us the opportunity to provide access to UofL in new ways and reduce the stress of standardized tests to our prospective students, especially during these difficult times.”

First-time freshman who choose not to submit ACT or SAT results will follow the same process as those who do not meet the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s College Readiness Indicators. They will be required to take one of several exams in math or reading to determine their proper first-year placement in courses after they are accepted.

As a trial, UofL allowed some students to apply for the freshmen fall 2020 class without submitting ACT or SAT scores. Those students provided a personal statement and resume, and grades and curriculum weighed more heavily in the decisions. The test-optional policy will be reviewed by the university to see if it will continue beyond fall 2021. For more information, visit 

Photo provided by Wallpaper Flair. 

John Karman, III
John Karman joined the Office of Communications and Marketing in 2014 after a 20-plus year career as a Louisville journalist. He has served as director of media relations since 2015. In that role, he answers reporters’ inquiries and is the university’s main spokesperson. John was a reporter for Business First of Louisville from 1999 to 2013. There, he won numerous awards from the Louisville chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists and American City Business Journals, parent company to Business First. John can die happy after seeing the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series, although he would also enjoy another title.