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Education Blog


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in November of 2021 that enrollment declined in public Georgia Colleges due to other colleges not requiring ACT or SAT scores for admissions. (Read more here)

Since then, many colleges have gone from test required to test-optional to test-blind to test-flexible. According to, more than 1800 colleges are test-optional for 2023. Therefore, many students, families, and counselors were surprised to see that some of our public Georgia universities went from test-optional to test-required this fall.

This past week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution released an article stating, "Sonny Perdue, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, announced Thursday that the college-admissions exams would only be required at Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, two of the system's most academically rigorous schools. The system's other 24 schools will be test-optional for students who enroll in the fall of 2023 through the summer of 2024."

What does this mean for applicants?

Williams Educational Consultants suggests that families contact the admissions offices to inquire how they are reading applicants who are not sending in test scores. And most importantly, contact the college to be sure that the test scores are, in fact, optional. Georgia College recently sent out an email on Friday to families regarding the new update. However, Williams Educational searched other Georgia Public Universities and found they had not yet refreshed their websites. I am sure the updates will be available online soon.

Test-Optional, What does that mean?

Colleges are allowing applicants to decide to apply with only a student's GPA or class rank. Students who meet the minimum requirements may choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores. However, if you are not a traditional high school applicant and are either homeschooled or an international applicant, this might not apply to your application.

If an applicant applies Test-Optional, an admissions committee should review the application holistically. Therefore, your high school transcript will become an essential criteria that shows your academic abilities and interest in course selections. An admissions reader will review your GPA, curriculum selection, and how you performed throughout your educational journey. Did you have bumps in the road? Were your grades showing an upward trend, or were they consistent throughout the years? After reviewing the data from the transcript, Admissions should look at the more individual components of the application like the activity list, personal statement, letters of recommendation, etc. Therefore, if a student decides not to submit scores, the applicant needs to pay close attention to the other pieces of the application materials. Williams Educational does not believe students will be penalized if they choose this option.

IMPORTANT: Although many schools do not require testing scores, colleges may still consider your scores when awarding merit scholarships. Please be sure your family understands these policies as they change for each institution. If your student is an athlete, it is imperative to check with NCAA and the college's athletic department. Additionally, families need to remember the requirements for the Hope/Zell scholarships.

Please visit GAFUTURES to learn more about the requirements below:

Zell Criteria:

  1. Graduate with a minimum 3.7 Calculated HOPE GPA.

  2. Earn a minimum of four full rigor credits from the Academic Rigor Course List.

  3. Earn a qualifying test score on a single national or state/district administration of the ACT or single national administration of the SAT prior to high school graduation.

  4. A minimum composite score of 26 is required for the ACT.

  5. A minimum score of 1200 is required for the SAT.

  6. Graduates named as the (Zell Miller Scholarship) Valedictorian or Salutatorian of his or her graduating class.

The Admissions Requirements for colleges differ across schools. Many schools have different options like Test-Blind, Test-Flexible, or Test-Required. Some colleges do not allow students to send teacher recommendations. Williams Educational knows how confusing and intimidating this process can be for many students. Our consultants are ready to answer questions, mentor families to help decrease anxiety, and provide recommendations to help you choose wisely.

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