SIU Carbondale will no longer require SAT, ACT for admission

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Southern Illinois University Carbondale will no longer require students to take the ACT or SAT to be admitted to the university.

Interim Chancellor John M. Dunn said research has shown the most important predictor of college success is a student's high school grade point average, The Southern Illinoisan reported. He said standardized tests like the ACT and SAT can be a barrier to higher education for many students, because of “demographic factors” and the cost of taking the exams.

“We have a responsibility to level the playing field and ensure that every student with potential has an opportunity to study at SIU,” Dunn said in a news release.

The university said admittance will be test-optional “effective immediately,” though students applying for the fall 2020 term who are seeking university scholarships will still be asked to provide standardized test scores. That's because the scholarships have ACT and SAT requirements, and the university needs time to redesign them.

Many colleges and universities nationwide have been dropping the requirement, including the University of Chicago, the University of Arizona and Wake Forest University. Indiana University is also considering making the tests optional for students applying for fall 2021.