SAT/ACT requirements, affirmative action bans, COVID-19: The year’s top stories

COVID-19 dominated the higher education conversation—really, most conversations—this year, and THE FEED kept close watch on the pandemic’s implications for access and affordability. From national shifts in the admissions landscape to the efforts of our extraordinary Georgetown University community, our 2020 coverage captured critical developments likely to shape the college experience for years to come.

See below for the most popular stories of 2020—and help guide our 2021 coverage by sending any feedback to


Most US colleges have dropped ACT/SAT requirement for fall 2021 admission

As of June, more than 1,240 of the nation’s 2,330 bachelor’s degree-granting schools had said they will not require students to submit ACT/SAT scores when they apply for fall 2021 admission. More >

What happens when states ban affirmative action?

A study found that states that banned affirmative action have seen a long-term decline in the share of Black, Latinx, and Native American students at their public universities. More >

COVID-19 intensifying college students’ housing, food insecurity

Nearly 60 percent of college students surveyed by The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice said they experienced basic needs insecurity during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic. More >

COVID-19 forces a closer look at the transfer student experience

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the college transfer process to the test as strained finances and ongoing uncertainty prompt some students to change plans. More >

What does it mean to create a ‘holistic’ student experience?

Seven experts—including Georgetown University’s Randy Bass—met at the offices of The Chronicle of Higher Education to discuss higher education’s focus on creating a “holistic” student experience, and the steps institutions are taking to ensure all students can thrive. More >

How the Community Scholars Program reimagined students’ 2020 summer experience

What does it take to pivot a decades-old, community-focused residential program to a virtual format? Learn how the Community Scholars Program is ensuring that students thrive in their transition to, and time at, Georgetown. More >

UC board votes to drop SAT/ACT requirement in ‘landmark decision’

The University of California decided to phase out the system’s use of SAT and ACT test scores when evaluating candidates for admission—a change expected to have ripple effects across the nation. More >

5 opportunities to build first-gen students’ sense of belonging at Georgetown

Research from The Hub for Equity and Innovation in Higher Education offers a window into attitudes of belonging among first-generation undergraduate students at Georgetown University—insights that will help shape the university’s ongoing work in the equity space. More >

How Georgetown is supporting teachers to strengthen the college access pipeline

Launched this fall, The Pivotal Network focuses on elevating the work of outstanding high school teachers who play a crucial role in shaping students’ educational trajectories. More >

How will admissions officers evaluate applicants this year? 

College admissions teams face uncharted territory as they prepare for a wave of applications with missing grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. Some welcome the chance to reconsider what makes a student outstanding. More >


Next Up

How much do parents borrow for their children’s college education?

The U.S. Department of Education for the first time has released data on the amount of Parent PLUS loan debt parents shoulder for their children to attend specific colleges and universities.