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Cancellation Of SAT And ACT Tests Changing 2021 College Application Process

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The uncertainty continues for high school students as many navigate the college admissions process amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's a hard process already when you are trying to navigate in person and having a completely normal year. So when there is a bunch going on in the world and no one knows what's happening, it's way more stressful," said Shady Side Academy senior Eve Mango.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, SAT and ACT tests have been canceled or pushed back.

"We heard crazy stories this summer of people traveling and driving 13 hours to get to some test center because nothing in their area was open, only to get there and have the test center closed," said Shady Side Academy college counselor Lauren Lieberman.

Those cancellations aren't just causing panic in parents and seniors. The cancellations are also changing the 2021 college application process.

Test Question
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"It has made many colleges go to a test-optional system so they aren't requiring ACT or SAT scores this year. That's about 60 percent of the schools out there," Lieberman said.

While the change provides some relief to students who couldn't get a test scheduled, it also gives seniors one less way to stand out on the application.

The change in testing is just one impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the college admissions process. Both high schools senior Annabel Everett and Mango told KDKA that it's difficult to decide on a college when you can only visit virtually and the application deadlines continue to change.

"Some colleges are canceling early decision and adding a second early decision date in January. It's really weird and I think colleges are testing all these new things and we are just trying to figure it out together," Mango said.

As for the testing optional changes, some universities said it's a plan for the next one to three years while others made the move permanent.

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