AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Augusta University is continuing to waive testing requirements for some students for the 2023-2024 school year.

“All in all, it is a win,” said Alexis Pope, the associate VP of enrollment for AU. “Both for the students and for Augusta University.”

The policy allows potential students with a 3.4 or higher high school GPA to skip sending their ACT or SAT scores with their applications, and has been in place since spring 2020.

Students who don’t meet requirements still have to submit their scores.

The change has created a more level playing field, students said.

“It was very helpful because I’m not a very good test taker,” said Mary Phillips, a second-year student at the university. “Like I can study for days and still not do well on a timed test, so I’d say that helped make it easier to transition and eased my anxiety of being like ‘what if I don’t get in?’”

Phillips said she had an overall GPA of 3.75 in high school, but didn’t do well on the SAT test.

Since the start of the pandemic, the number of universities and colleges with test-optional policies has nearly doubled, with 713 before spring 2020 and 1,350 since, according to urban.org.

This has caused a dramatic increase in enrollment and the number of applications AU has received, said Pope, the associate VP of enrollment.

Students facing financial and educational obstacles would also have a greater chance of getting into – and being successful – in college.

“We know that high test scores do align with socioeconomic factors,” Pope said. “Students that make more money are able to take the test more often or are able to take more test prep.”

Students who meet the minimum GPA are still encouraged to submit their SAT and ACT scores, and the University System of Georgia will decide if AU can keep this policy for future years.