An estimated 50% of incoming students are taking advantage of ACU’s new policy allowing the choice to not submit standardized test scores for college admission.
ACU is just one of many universities who no longer require ACT, SAT or the new CLT (Classical Learning Test) scores for college admission because of COVID-19.
Almost all academic scholarships are available to students with or without test scores, as Tunisia Singleton, senior admissions counselor, estimates that about half of prospective students opt out, even with access to the new standardized test.
ACU began accepting CLT scores this year, despite the test’s release in 2015.
“It’s a newer test, and it plays to the strengths of students who have participated in a classical school,” Singleton said. “One of the biggest reasons why ACU decided to do that is because they offered it remotely.”
Despite the remote accessibility of the CLT, Macy McAlister, admissions counselor, said not many students take the test, estimating that she has processed about six CLT exams this year.
Traditionally, a student’s class rank, high school GPA and standardized test scores are the three factors considered for admission and scholarships. Now, if a student chooses not to submit a test score, high school GPA is factored in twice in lieu of the score.
“ACU has always looked at grades,” said Singleton. “All the statistics show that that’s a better indicator of a student’s potential success in higher education than the test score.”
With the exception of the Presidential Scholarship, ACU’s highest academic award, all academic scholarships are still available to students without test scores. However, only students who submit standardized test scores will be considered for the Presidential Scholarship and admission into the Honors College.
Peter Zeller, admissions counselor, said that although this adjustment was born out of necessity because of the pandemic, no one really knows if or when universities will go back to requiring students to take standardized tests.
“I could see them sticking with this if other universities do, just to stay competitive within enrollment and getting kids accepted,” said Zeller.
Making tests optional during the pandemic has been out of an effort to make college admission more accessible for students.
“That’s been the biggest thing about this whole test,” said Singleton. “The test optional thing, the CLT, it has been an effort to remove barriers for students who have had so many things go against them.”