Expansion of Standardized Testing Requirements in Georgia Public Universities

Starting in the fall of 2026, four additional public universities in Georgia will require the ACT or SAT college tests for admission. The decision was made by the state Board of Regents, expanding the testing requirements to Augusta University, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University, and Kennesaw State University.

While testing requirements had already been reinstated for Georgia’s most selective schools, including the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia College and State University, this move represents a broader trend of reinstating standardized testing across the nation. Notable institutions like Harvard, Yale, and MIT, along with public universities such as the University of Tennessee system, have also reintroduced testing requirements.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, testing services couldn’t guarantee exam availability, prompting the suspension of testing requirements across Georgia’s public universities. Admissions were based solely on high school grades during this period, with optional test submissions potentially compensating for lower grades.

Chancellor Sonny Perdue emphasized the value of standardized testing in conjunction with high school grades as predictors of college success. He expressed confidence that standardized testing would provide valuable insights into students’ strengths and weaknesses.

While the new policy allows other institutions to implement testing requirements if desired, it’s not mandatory. This flexibility acknowledges the diverse needs of Georgia’s higher education landscape.

Previously considered for implementation in fall 2025, the decision to delay until 2026 provides universities with additional time for adjustment. This cautious approach aims to mitigate potential disruptions to the admissions process.

The University System of Georgia’s previous attempt to reinstate testing requirements in fall 2022 encountered challenges, including a decrease in applications and incomplete applications due to the lack of test scores. However, system officials remain committed to the belief that standardized testing, in combination with high school grades, provides a more comprehensive assessment of student readiness for college.

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As Georgia’s public universities navigate the evolving landscape of admissions requirements, the decision to reintroduce standardized testing reflects ongoing efforts to enhance the admissions process and ensure the success of incoming students.

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