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The country's most renowned college brand announced its plans Monday to join the growing list of colleges that have suspended standardized testing requirements for the Class of 2025.

Harvard College is the latest college to announce it will not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores this fall. The surge in colleges announcing test-optional policies is one of many ways the college admissions and financial aid worlds will be turned upside down next year as colleges plan around the coronavirus.

Multiple surveys have found that families of college students are trying to sort out how to afford for college after job losses or pay cuts. One survey reports four out of 10 college students expect they’ll need to borrow more this fall to pay tuition bills.

Even before the pandemic and recession, paying for college was no easy feat: Tuition at public four-year colleges now averages more than $10,000 a year for in-state students, and that doesn’t include housing, books, and other living expenses. Nearly two-thirds of bachelor’s degree recipients have to use loans to help cover the bill.

This year, some students will be forced to rely on student loans more heavily to afford to go to college. Others may opt to attend a less expensive school or sit out a year to try to avoid debt.

Money’s roundup of news and interest rates can guide you through your decision.

College News and Student Loan Updates For 2020

Harvard may be one of America’s oldest, most elite institutions of higher education, but in this announcement it was following the crowd. Every Ivy League college except for Princeton University has already said it will waive the traditional SAT and ACT requirements this year.

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has created insurmountable challenges in scheduling tests for all students, particularly those from modest economic backgrounds, and we believe this temporary change addresses these challenges,” Harvard said in a statement announcing its decision.

It’s not only private colleges that have waived their testing requirements. Large public universities including the University Virginia, Michigan State University, and Pennsylvania State University have all made similar test-optional decisions for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle. Last month, the regents at the University of California system voted unanimously to phase out use of SAT and ACT scores in their admissions process. In 2025, the system will start using a new exam developed by its faculty.

Make no mistake: it won’t necessarily be easier for students to get into hyper-competitive colleges simply because those colleges have dropped SAT/ACT requirements, and some colleges may still require the scores if applicants want to be considered for merit-based scholarships offered by the college. But it does take some pressure off high school seniors who may underperform on standardized tests.

The number of colleges with test-optional policies had already been growing every year, but that “wave became a tsunami” after the spread of coronavirus, Bob Schaeffer, interim executive director of FairTest, said in a press release. FairTest, which advocates for test-optional policies, reports that nearly 200 colleges and universities have gone test-optional so far this spring, bringing the total number of four-year colleges that don’t require ACT or SAT scores to more than 1,200.