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UCM Announces Plan for ACT, SAT Test Optional Admission for Fall 2020

By Jeff Murphy, May 13, 2020

UCM Bound

WARRENSBURG, MO – After considering factors believed to be the most accurate indicators of a student’s ability to succeed in higher education, the University of Central Missouri is making the ACT and SAT optional for admission to the university beginning in fall 2020. This decision moves forward the university’s plan to go test optional for the fall 2021 recruitment cycle, and is in response to maintaining an accessible and affordable education amid the national coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new test optional criteria, students applying to UCM with a 3.5 GPA or higher may be admitted without submitting an ACT or SAT test score. In addition, students admitted as test optional will receive a $1,000 Red and Black Scholarship to make UCM even more affordable.

Drew Griffin, assistant vice provost for admission and financial aid, said the ability to make tests optional will help alleviate stress and provide flexibility for students at a very challenging time. While there have been cancellations of public gatherings and events, and the campus has gone to all-online courses this spring, many students also are hampered by cancellations of standardized tests. Additionally, UCM had already been looking at the best ways to measure a student’s potential at a time when a number of other institutions are adopting test optional measures for admission.

“We have reviewed the national research on standardized testing and understand that the true measure of a student is not some score they received during a four-hour test on a Saturday morning,” Griffin said. “After looking at previous institutional retention data, we have determined that the high school GPA is the best predictor of success for UCM students.”

While this new criteria removes barriers for most students, a qualifying ACT or SAT test is still required for students interested in the following:

  • Direct Entry Nursing Program
  • Education majors (possible exemption from the MOGEA exam)
  • Honors College
  • Automatic merit scholarships
  • NCAA athletics.

Individuals who want to learn more should contact the Office of Admissions at 877-SAY-UCMO or, or by visiting

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