COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Students applying for freshman admission to the University of South Carolina's Columbia campus will not have to submit standardized SAT or ACT test scores for the 2021 spring, summer or fall terms.

The one-year pilot program was recently approved by the Faculty Senate Committee on Admissions in light of testing interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the university said in a news release Friday.

"We hope it will ultimately expand access to our institution, which is here to serve the students of South Carolina and beyond, even during uncertain times,” said university president Bob Caslen in a statement.

Students applying without the test scores can provide supplemental materials in their application, the university said.

The policy to make the tests optional applies to students seeking general and honors college admission, as well as those applying for merit scholarships.