MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the ability of many college-bound high school students to take either the ACT or the SAT, West Virginia University has joined a long list of institutions relaxing test score requirements in its admission policies.

"If a student is not able to take the SAT or ACT, we will still admit them to WVU as long as they have shown academic ability on other areas of their application," said George Zimmerman, WVU executive director of admissions and recruitment.

"We have found that GPA is a better predictor of college success and reflects a student’s overall academic performance."

However, Zimmerman noted some scholarships and individual program admissions, including but not limited to the PROMISE Scholarship, may still require a test score. As a result, a test score is still recommended in certain cases in order for a student to be considered for the most merit aid.

Some students admitted under the test optional process, who do not meet specific program requirements, will begin their career in the WVU Center for Learning, Advising and Student Success.

"We want high school seniors to have confidence that their application will be reviewed without scores, provided that other benchmarks are met," Zimmerman said.

"It’s also important for students to understand that WVU has a rolling admissions calendar, so we encourage students to apply as soon as possible to get an admissions decision," he added. "If a test can benefit their application, students can submit test scores at any point in the process before the start of the fall term," Zimmerman said.

The change will take effect Aug. 1 for admission to spring and fall 2021 terms and will be re-evaluated in time for the spring 2022 term.