Utah State University is joining universities across the country in adapting to yet another disruption brought on by the coronavirus pandemic: Delayed and cancelled college-admission tests.
USU announced Thursday it will temporarily suspend ACT and SAT test requirements for undergraduate admissions for the spring and summer semesters. The move mirrors similar action by several colleges and universities across the country, including some Ivy League schools and the entire University of California system.
In a press release, USU said the change is in response to disruptions in administering the tests during the coronavirus pandemic. In the absence of the widely used scores submitted in the past by virtually all college-bound students, USU said it will evaluate applicants on their grade-point averages, with ACT and SAT scores optional.
According to the press release, those with a 2.9 grade-point average or higher will be admitted in good standing; those with a 2.5-2.89 will be considered for provisional admission; and those with a 2.49 or below will be given the opportunity earn their admission by completing three self-paced online classes.
“USU recognizes that prospective students may have faced challenges completing testing,” Katie Jo North, executive director of new student enrollment, was quoted as saying. “This shift is designed to relieve some of the uncertainty high school students may feel right now. We want our students prepared for the rigor of our programs, but we also want to be accessible and fair to those who missed their opportunity or whose financial constraints prevent them from taking the test multiple times to increase their score.”
Looking ahead, the university reported it will form a committee to evaluate this year’s recruitment and retention data and consider possible long-term changes in admission standards.
At the University of California, officials in May waived the test requirements for all of its branches at least through the 2024 school year while they work to develop their own standardized admission test.
At USU, ACT or SAT test scores are still required for consideration of academic merit scholarships and select majors and programs, Thursday’s press release stated. The deadline for academic merit scholarships is Jan. 10, 2021.