By Jeff Murphy, May 13, 2020
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: