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University of Cincinnati waiving SAT, ACT tests for 2021 applicants in response to COVID-19

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CINCINNATI — SAT and ACT testing is optional for admission to the University of Cincinnati for the next two years, university officials announced on Friday.

The decision is in response to “significant disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Students attending UC in the fall of 2021 will not be required to submit standardized test scores from the ACT or SAT to get into the majority of programs. A few selected programs will still require these test scores.

Jack Miner, UC’s vice provost for enrollment management, called the move “a student-friendly decision” in a statement.

“So many of the students we are talking to in their junior year [of high school] are stressing out because they are not able to take the ACT or SAT in the time they normally would have due to COVID-19,” Miner said.

Tammy Byland, assistant vice provost of admissions, said UC will evaluate the test-optional policy to determine the next steps.

“Right now we are implementing this change for a two-year period in response to the COVID impact, but we want to collect data along the way that helps us understand the influence on not only enrollment, but also student success,” Byland said.

Universities that have implemented this policy in recent years have not seen an academic slide, Miner said.

“Schools that have gone in this direction have started seeing an increase in diversity both in applications and enrollment,” Miner said. “They are enrolling more underrepresented minority students as well as more economically diverse students.”

Since the pandemic, dozens of other colleges have adopted similar admissions policies, including Cornell and Harvard.

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