Georgia will require the ACT or SAT college tests at four more public universities starting in the fall of 2026, but will not restore testing requirements to as many colleges as before the pandemic.

The state Board of Regents on Tuesday voted to start requiring the tests at Augusta University, Georgia State University, Georgia Southern University and Kennesaw State University.

Test requirements had already been restored for the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia College and State University, the system's three most selective schools. An increasing number of colleges nationwide are restoring testing requirements, including elite schools such as Harvard, Yale and MIT, as well as public institutions including the University of Tennessee system.

Tests have never been required at many of Georgia's nine state colleges, intended to be the least selective of the state's four tiers of schools. But they had long been required for admission to the state's 17 public universities until the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With testing services unable to guarantee the exams would be available, the system suspended testing requirements, instead admitting students based only on high school grades. Students who submit optional tests may be admitted with lower grades.

Under the new policy, other schools can require a test score starting fall 2026, but are not mandated to require one.

Chancellor Sonny Perdue has long said he believes tests plus high school grades are a better predictor of college success than grades alone.

"The standardized testing will be a great instrument for us to determine the strengths and weaknesses of every student coming in," Perdue told regents Tuesday at a meeting in Atlanta.

Regents had previously discussed imposing testing requirements in the fall of 2025, but leaders of some of the affected universities say another year will give them more time to adjust.

The system had moved to reimpose testing requirements in fall 2022, but found that applications fell, and that many students didn't finish their applications for lack of a test score. That year, University System of Georgia officials blamed the test requirement, before it was dropped, for causing a shortfall in applications.