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This week Cornell University said it would stay test optional for another year after this one. Columbia and Harvard Universities and the University of Pennsylvania quickly followed.

The University of Virginia on Friday announced it would stay test optional for the next two years. Amherst and Williams Colleges, Boston College, the College of Charleston, and Rice University also extended their policies for one or two years.

Robert Schaeffer, interim executive director of FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing, said via email that these moves are "highly significant."

"The recent test-suspension extensions appear to be the vanguard of a national movement to maintain ACT/SAT optional policies at highly selective colleges and universities at least through the fall 2022 admission cycle," he said. "FairTest expects many more such schools to follow suit in the coming weeks joining the more than half of all four-year schools that are already test-optional for fall 2022."

Schaeffer added that "late winter/early spring is typically the season when admissions offices unveil changes in standardized exam requirements. This year, many high school juniors, their parents, and counselors are trying to figure out whether they should try to begin the ACT/SAT process in the midst of a pandemic or whether they can avoid this potential threat to their health and safety. By announcing test-optional extensions, schools both recognize that many admissions testing sites remain closed and lift a burden off potential applicants."

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