Lehigh University Alumni Memorial Building

Lehigh Adopts Test-Optional Policy for Student Applicants During the 2020-21 Academic Year

The SAT and ACT will be optional for first-year and transfer applicants for the Fall 2021 semester.


In response to the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to in-person SAT and ACT testing, and The College Board’s decision to not offer at-home administration of the SAT, Lehigh will adopt a test-optional policy for the SAT and ACT for the 2020-21 academic year.

First-year and transfer applicants for the Fall 2021 semester, with the exception of prospective student-athletes, can choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT test scores for consideration. Applicants to the accelerated program with SUNY Optometry must still submit either SAT or ACT scores. International students who attend schools where English is not the primary language of instruction will still be required to submit results from either the TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo exams. 

This change is in addition to other COVID-19-related policy changes. Lehigh’s Office of Admissions allows for flexibility with alternative grading methods, reviewing transcripts based on individual schools’ practices and policies during the admissions review process. If a school has utilized alternative grading methods during the COVID-19 pandemic, Lehigh will honor those methods in the same manner as the school’s traditional grading scale. The university also honors scores from the new online format for AP exams according to existing policies. 

The Office of Admissions will continue its holistic approach to reviewing applications during the admissions process, which allows for the consideration of a host of variables, including rigor of curriculum, classroom performance over time, personal and academic context, contributions to the school setting and community, standardized testing scores (if submitted), letters of support, and responses to the personal essay.  

“We are adjusting our policy to accommodate the challenges students are facing with regard to access to standardized tests this year,” said Dan Warner, vice provost for admissions and financial aid. “We understand the need to be flexible given the COVID-19 crisis."

Prospective students can contact Admissions at (610) 758-3100 or admissions@lehigh.edu with any questions. 



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