MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia University has become the first higher education institution in West Virginia to adopt a “test-optional admissions policy,” according to a release on WVU Today.

Test scores as part of the admissions process for WVU were temporarily made optional in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the WVU Board of Governors has officially made the police permanent, “to reduce the overall stress of the college application process,” the release said.

“Going forward, we have an obligation to remove any barriers that may deter those interested in higher education,” George Zimmerman, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management.

According to WVU, more than 1,800 other institutions in America are also test-optional or test-free. The release said that WVU will continue to offer scholarships for applicants, regardless of whether they choose to apply without test scores.

However, West Virginia residents will still need to achieve a composite ACT score of 21 or a total SAT score of 1050 to be eligible for the West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship. Additionally, certain colleges within WVU, such as the School of Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and School of Pharmacy, require minimum test scores in some subjects, according to WVU Admissions.

The test-optional policy will officially become permanent after the temporary policy expires in spring 2024.