In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Southern Utah University has dropped the ACT/SAT testing requirement for not only admissions, but has made it optional for merit-based scholarships.
More than 1,240 out of the 2,330 bachelor’s degree-granting schools have decided that they will not require students to submit ACT/SAT scores when they apply for fall 2021 admission, according to the National Center for fair and Open Testing in an article by Georgetown University released this June.
SUU announced that the change is permanent and will begin with the 2020-2021 academic school year, impacting new admissions starting this year instead of waiting until fall 2021 like many other universities.
Not only is SUU taking action sooner than most other universities in the U.S, they have become the first public university in Utah to do so, according to suu.edu.
“This new approach gives students an option,” said Brandon Wright, SUU’s assistant vice president for enrollment management. “This is our way of recognizing the individual strengths of each and every future SUU student.”
Because the pandemic made it difficult for students to use their ACT/SAT score to apply to universities because of cancelled testing dates, the modification will now give students the choice to use either their test scores or their unweighted grade.
“It’s really that simple,” Wright said.
According to suu.edu, many universities are waiving ACT/SAT scores but not changing the weight testing scores hold in scholarships considerations. SUU’s decision to drop the testing requirement will also give students the opportunity to qualify for more generous scholarships.
The new scholarship index will provide a wider variety of financial support for students and will award more than 800 additional scholarships, according to Amie Tukuafu, associate director of Admissions and Recruitment.
An article by the Washington Post reported that “an estimated 1 million high school juniors are missing the chance this spring to get their first SAT score, and many others face uncertainty about when they can take the ACT,” wrote Nick Anderson.
In response, SUU has shown flexibility and compassion for students by announcing the decision to no longer require the test scores.
“Our students are more than just a test score to us,” said Wright.
Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong