Indiana University could make SAT, ACT tests optional

Indiana University could soon stop requiring students to submit ACT or SAT scores with their college applications, joining a national trend of universities ditching the standardized testing mandate for admission.

The university’s Board of Trustees recently approved the policy change, which will allow each of its nine campuses to opt out of requiring prospective students to submit test scores. The change can be effective for students applying for fall 2021.

All IU campuses currently require students to submit either their ACT or SAT scores, according to university spokesman Chuck Carney.

Under the new policy, students will still have the option to submit their scores if they choose to, said Carney, adding that research shows students’ high school GPA is a better indicator for early college success.

“It allows the opportunity for students to present themselves in the best possible way,” Carney said. “It gives us a full picture of who they are as students.”

The new policy will enable individual IU campuses to begin the process of approving and implementing their own “test optional” admissions practice, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.

Vicki Roman-Lagunas, the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at IU’s Northwest campus, said campus officials are working with the Office of Admissions to consider dropping the requirement for standardized test scores.

“Our goal is to enact any resulting enhancements to our admissions guidelines for students applying for the fall 2021 semester,” Román-Lagunas said.

Hundreds of colleges in recent years have made it optional for applicants to submit test scores in an effort to promote equity and diversify applicant pools.

Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Arizona and the University of Chicago have already implemented the test-optional policy.

In Indiana, Ball State University, Hanover College and Calumet College of St. Joseph do not require SAT or ACT scores for admission. Earlham College, the University of Evansville and St. Mary’s College are also test-optional.

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