The inability for people to safely congregate has canceled numerous ACT and SAT tests this spring and caused changes in this summer’s and fall’s scheduled tests. The ACT has announced that it “will offer a flexible schedule for summer 2020 test dates.” Assuming schools will proctor the ACT, students will get to choose to test on June 13 or June 20 and then again on July 18 or July 25, the multiple test days allowing for social distancing by reducing the number of test-takers on a given day.

Also, both tests have announced that, if necessary, they will offer proctored, online, at home tests this fall. Though questions remain about preventing cheating, verifying each student’s identity, and guaranteeing equal internet access for all, there is a plan for the students in the class of 2021 to demonstrate their testing prowess.

In fact, the class of 2021 will have ample chances to test. The ACT has its customary June, July, September, October, and December fall dates, and don’t be surprised if the ACT adds another date this fall. The College Board has already announced that it will offer the SAT each month this fall: August, September, October, November, and December. Again, both tests are expected to be available online at home, if schools are not open.

Meanwhile, the upheaval has led many selective colleges to announce that they will not require a test score for admission for the high school class of 2021. Thus, more colleges—now including Middlebury, Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore, and others– will be test-optional for this coming year. Still, the vast majority of applicants to test-optional colleges choose to submit a test score, which can trigger scholarships.

With the class of 2021 having many chances to test coming up, most merit scholarships offered by excellent state universities and private colleges—UNL, UNO, UNK, University of Alabama, Nebraska Wesleyan, Hastings, Doane, Wayne, Chadron, Peru, and hundreds of others—should continue to be based on grades and test scores.

Our daily rhythms have been disrupted. We’re all feeling it.

One thing hasn’t changed: increasing that score remains the best paying job a student could have.

Prepare well now so later you get the best post-high school destination for you at the lowest cost.


The Impact of COVID-19 on College Planning  

In this webinar, John unpacks the many changes to college admissions and standardized testing due to the coronavirus, especially as it impacts juniors and seniors.