CWU News

CWU Permanently Makes Standardized Tests Optional

Central Washington University announced today it is joining with all of Washington state’s public baccalaureate institutions in permanently making SAT and ACT tests optional, starting in the fall 2021 quarter.

“We are joining our counterparts across the state to strongly support a more holistic approach to admissions that focuses on the whole student,” said CWU Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Michelle DenBeste. “Instead of primarily basing our admissions on test scores, we will take into consideration other factors including diversity, leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, and school and community engagement.”

DenBeste said students would not be penalized during the admissions process nor will student eligibility for institutional-supported scholarships be impacted by the lack of a SAT or ACT standardized test score.

“We hope that students will continue to seek challenges in high school, stay engaged in their schools and local communities, reach out to our institutions and explore the array of academic programs on our campuses,” she continued.

Many colleges and universities, including in Washington, agreed to make standardized tests optional for admission during the COVID-19 pandemic for health and safety concerns, and because of growing concern that standardized tests inherently discriminate against those from disadvantaged communities.

“We recognize that Central is often the first choice for first-generation college students. Deciding to move to permanent test optional policies only reaffirms our strong commitment to removing barriers that might prevent any student from obtaining a college degree,” DenBeste said.

Media contact: Kremiere Jackson, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1425,