In an effort to remove barriers from students impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, Wartburg College will use a test-optional admissions process for its upcoming recruitment cycle.

Last spring, the pandemic forced the cancellation of nearly all in-person test-taking for the ACT and SAT standardized tests, whose results still figure prominently in the admissions process at colleges and universities nationwide. As the pandemic stretches into the fall, it is unclear when the Iowa City-based ACT and New York-based College Board will be able to resume full testing capabilities.

“We have reviewed this possibility every year for several years, and we have decided that now is the time to implement it,” said Edith Waldstein, Wartburg’s vice president for enrollment management. “For those who do not submit test scores, we will ramp up our review of their applications, placing more weight on curriculum (college preparatory classes), grades, letters of recommendation and interviews by the admissions counselors.”

The college will still encourage the submission of a standardized test score, since it will help students with placement into the appropriate level of some courses. Test scores will not be required for college-sponsored scholarships.