Cornell Suspends SAT/ACT Requirements for Students Who Want to Apply Without Getting In

410 THURSTON AVENUE—Citing cancellations resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the Cornell Undergraduate Admissions Office assured applicants to the class of 2025 that they need not worry about standardized testing requirements, so long as they don’t mind getting rejected.

“We understand that, because of Covid-19, future rejected applicants are unable to take or retake the SAT or ACT, so we’ve suspended the testing requirements,” said Shawn Felton, Director of Undergraduate Admissions. “We don’t want students to fret over this unavoidable situation. As long as you don’t care about being accepted, feel free to apply without any test scores!”

“A significant number of school districts administer free school-wide standardized testing that can no longer take place,” said Sarah Ash, regional Admissions Counselor for Midwest applicants. “Though Cornell has little need for students from families too poor to spend hundreds of dollars on private exams, we encourage them to apply anyway.”

Ash emphasized to potential applicants that “a lack of SAT/ACT scores should not bar any student from applying,” noting, however, that any student who didn’t begin preparing and taking tests a full year before beginning the application process “probably didn’t deserve to be accepted into our Ivy League university.”

“Remember, Ezra Cornell created Cornell to be a place where any student could pursue any study, assuming that person scored at least a 32 on the ACT and cleared a 720 on all their SAT subject tests,” Felton added. “We believe that US News and World Report will find it important that we stick to this core tenet.”

Though Felton characterized the admissions chances of applicants who choose to take this option as “slim to none,” he still sees a path to acceptance for students with “truly exceptional trust funds and intergenerational wealth. At the end of the day,” he concluded, “Cornell needs bright young students who are excited to reinvigorate our campus with new sports stadiums and well-furnished residence halls, and we are committed to making that vision a reality.”

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