Recognizing the constraints and pressures that students and school systems face as a result of the COVID-19 virus, the University of Pittsburgh announced today that its regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville will be ACT and SAT test-optional for the Fall 2020 admissions cycle, effective immediately.
“The University of Pittsburgh is committed to helping students and families adjust to the realities of these challenging times and will continue to review and adjust policies accordingly,” said Joseph J. McCarthy, vice provost for undergraduate studies.
As a result of this pilot, students applying for admission to any of the regional campuses for Fall 2020 will have the option to include or not include their SAT or ACT scores as part of their application materials.
“The decision for Pitt-Greensburg to go SAT/ACT optional during this challenging time is the right thing to do for our prospective students,” said Dana Bearer, director of Admissions at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. “We want students to know that we are here to support their college aspirations and to remove any barriers to achieving their goals.”
Bearer continued, “We embrace the philosophy that students are more than just a test score. Be assured, overall high school performance, personal desire to succeed, references and grit are all excellent indicators of success. With or without an SAT/ACT score, our team of admissions professionals looks forward to reviewing students’ overall preparedness for Pitt- Greensburg.”
Need-based aid programs, such as the Pitt Success Pell Match Program, will be available to all qualifying students, irrespective of the availability of SAT or ACT test scores. However, when included, SAT and ACT scores can still factor into merit-based scholarship eligibility decisions.
“All applicants to the University of Pittsburgh already receive a comprehensive, individual review,” said McCarthy. “In the absence of a test score, the committee will determine admissibility by relying more heavily on factors such as the strength of a student's academic coursework, their grade trends and senior year curriculum choices, their performance in advanced courses (i.e. honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, post-secondary coursework), short answer/essay questions, extracurricular activities, and anything else that a student chooses to submit in order to demonstrate their academic potential.”
For decades there have been conversations about the value of standardized testing in higher education admissions. “This pilot program for the regional campuses will be an interesting experiment and only fair under the circumstances,” said Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd. “It will provide a nice opportunity for Pitt to evaluate the impact of going test-optional, not just for this fall’s incoming class but also for today’s high school juniors.”
The Pittsburgh campus is not test-optional. Specific majors at Bradford, Greensburg and Johnstown may still require the submission of a score. Please refer to the respective admissions websites of those campuses for additional information. Admissions officers for the regional campuses are listed below: