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Admissions PSA: UMass Amherst is test optional for the next three years

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Image of a dormitory complex at the University of Massachusetts with text reading - Admissions PSA:  Updates for First Year Applicants, and Mike Drish - Director of First-Year Admissions

Welcome to my first blog post for the University of Massachusetts Amherst! I’m writing to update you on some of the changes to keep in mind for first-year applicants during this academic year.

We know that Covid-19 has led you to navigate your college search in a way that is new and unexpected, and we are here to help. Though the pandemic has caused each of us here in Amherst to live and work differently, we are all determined, now more than ever, to share the UMass story and encourage you to become a part of it. As a public, land-grant university we are committed to cultivating a diverse and inclusive community, and ensuring access for all is a commitment we take seriously, especially during a pandemic. Please read the updates and reminders below as you prepare to apply for undergraduate admission to UMass Amherst.

  • We are here for you…online. The best way to learn more about UMass Amherst is to look at our virtual event options. Our admissions counselors, student tour guides, and campus partners are excited to help you through this process and virtually get to know our community. We are developing new and exciting ways for you to explore UMass Amherst, so please keep checking this page to see what is available this fall. Also, if you haven’t already, subscribe to our accounts on social media for updates and key information about applying - we’re @umassadmissions on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and we post regular updates on YouTube as well.
  • We are a test-optional university. For the next three admissions cycles UMass Amherst will not require the SAT/ACT standardized tests as part of our admissions or scholarship process. You are in no way disadvantaged in our review process if you do not have a SAT/ACT score. If you have taken the SAT/ACT, you are welcome to submit those scores and they will be reviewed as one of many factors in our individualized, holistic review process. This applies to all majors.
  • Our counselors assess your academic achievement and extracurricular activities within the context of this unique time. No applicant will be disadvantaged because of academic or extracurricular changes related to this outbreak that were beyond their control. We know transcripts will look different, you may not have AP or IB test scores, and awards/recognition and activities were cancelled or significantly limited. As we always do in a holistic review process, we will view you in the context of your individual situation based on what insights you share in the Common Application.
  • We value involvement in peaceful protests. We are innovators at UMass Amherst, we appreciate student support to bring about real and meaningful change, so know that we stand with you. Participation in peaceful protest in no way jeopardizes your admission to the university. Stand up, demand better of us all, and come to UMass Amherst to help us continue to grow and develop as a university community.
  • Our application deadlines for Fall 2021 admission are the same. First-year applicants should remember these two application deadlines: 

    Early Action –November 5

    Regular Decision – January 15

    For both deadlines, the Common Application and your credentials (with or without standardized test scores) must be submitted.

  • Our guidance on the optional short answer question about COVID. There is a new, optional question on the Common Application this year under the Additional Information section. The application also features a FAQ to help you consider the kinds of impacts you may wish to discuss in this optional answer such as illness and loss, housing and employment disruptions, and/or shifting family obligations. Like all other parts of the application, if you choose to answer this question, it should be about you. How this made you feel, how this altered your everyday life.

Everyone on the first-year admissions team is looking forward to connecting with you during this year. Good luck! and Go UMass!

Mike Drish, Director of First-Year Admission



Application Process
Transitioning to College
Why UMass

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Admissions PSA: Early Action Decisions

Image of vibrant fall foliage colors frame the Campus Center at the University of Massachusetts with text reading - Admissions PSA:  Updates for First Year Applicants, and Mike Drish - Director of First-Year Admissions

Yesterday afternoon, December 11, UMass Amherst released our first batch of Early Action admission decisions for first-year admission to the Class of 2025. The decisions released yesterday, over 7,600, include both international and domestic students from the record 21,153 Early Action applications we received. If you have not applied, there is still time to do so as the Regular Decision deadline is January 15, 2021.