SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Prospective students at the University of Utah will no longer be required to submit ACT or SAT scores for the next two years in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing colleges to rethink their application processes.
Steve Robinson, senior associate vice president for enrollment management, announced the decision Thursday after high school students have faced limited access to testing centers amid the pandemic.
Some of the scheduled tests were canceled earlier this year and those that were rescheduled have limited the number of students to maintain social distancing, leaving some booked through November.
"It's really creating a lot of disruption in the availability of the test," Robinson said. "And it's increasing the anxiety of high school students trying to apply to college."
Other students have raised concerns over the cost of the test amid an economic downturn.
The dropped requirement applies to students who are scheduled to start classes at the university in 2021 and 2022 and high school students who are juniors and seniors this fall.
It joins more than 1,200 four-year colleges and universities nationwide that will not require applicants to submit test scores for fall 2021 admission, according to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, also known as FairTest. Utah Valley University in Orem is the only other school in the state that does not require the test.
Some applicants must still take the test if their GPA is not comparable to other high school students, such as students who have GEDs or attended a nonaccredited high school.
"We will be implementing new methods and technology over the next two years to ensure the admissions process remains comprehensive despite no longer receiving standardized test scores, and we look forward to the results of the pilot to determine whether this may be a permanent change for the U.," Robinson said.
Dropping the testing requirement could potentially improve equity at top-tier schools after standardized tests have been accused of being biases against low-income and minority students, he said.