CEDARVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — Cedarville University announced its decision to make standardized test scores optional for students applying the next two academic years.

Students can also apply to the university without an application fee through Nov. 1 by visiting its website.

The university said in a press release that it shifted to a test optional plan because many students have not been able to take either the ACT or SAT due to restrictions or test cancellations related to COVID-19.

“Thankfully, our application activity has been consistent with the last several years,” said Scott Van Loo, vice president for enrollment management. “But when we started to review the data, we had 250 applications already where the only piece of information that was missing was the standardized test. In comparison to last year, we had less than 50 without a standardized test score at this same time.”

According to Van Loo, college admissions nationally has been impacted by the reduced opportunity of students to take a standardized test, resulting in students delaying or avoiding applying to schools with test requirements.

“We began anticipating that if we stayed the course with requiring a standardized test, the later we got in the recruitment cycle, the more students there would be without a test for us to review,” said Van Loo.

Cedarville will remain test optional for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years.