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ISBOE extends waiver of college entrance exams

isboe members on zoom

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - At a virtual meeting Monday, the Idaho State Board of Education unanimously voted to extend the waiver of requiring entrance exams for college admissions.

This waiver determines how students will be accepted into state universities and colleges in fall 2021.

In June, the ISBOE waived the entrance exams requirement for the 2020-2021 school year because SAT and ACT exams were canceled due to the coronavirus.

On Monday, the board voted unanimously to extend that waiver into the 2021-2022 school year because of the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming school year.

Universities still have the liberty to require entrance exams, if they choose to.

Part of Idaho's college admission standards include referring to a students' 6th semester (second half of 3rd year) GPA. The board voted to temporarily change that standard to the 5th semester GPA because of how turbulent the spring 2020 semester was.

They also voted unanimously to decrease the benchmark GPA for the 5th semester from 3.0 to 2.8.

"This distinction is important since many students did not have the opportunity to improve their 6th semester GPA this year due to the pandemic, and/or received pass fail grades, rather than letter grades, which affected their GPA," said TJ Bliss, the Chief Academic Officer for ISBOE.

Several members of the board seemed to be optimistic about beginning the discussion of standardized tests and their role in college admissions.

"We may find ourselves in a position in a few years where we have a healthy discussion on the role of these types of tests," said Debbie Critchfield, the president of the board. "That discussion is coming sooner than you think."

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Emma Iannacone

Emma is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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