Thursday, June 11, 2020

UIS drops admissions-test requirement for 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic

The University of Illinois Springfield will not require college bound high school seniors to submit standardized test scores as part of the application process for fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Illinois Board of Trustee’s Executive Committee on Wednesday approved a one-year moratorium on the entrance requirement because large numbers of high school students have not been able to take standardized tests, due to school closures and the unavailability of SAT or ACT tests, since March.

“Test-optional is an opportunity to meet the needs of Illinois’ citizens, economy and civic landscape by facing today’s challenges using both, the tried and true and the new,” said Natalie Herring, UIS associate provost for enrollment management. “This benefits students and families by removing pressure, cost and barriers. Our diverse state deserves and requires diverse options for post-secondary education and credentials aimed at keeping Illinois talent in Illinois.”

UIS currently reviews prospective freshman applications through a holistic admissions process. For those applicants who still choose to submit test scores, those scores will be considered. The impact of COVID-19 sparked UIS to be test-flexible with current freshman applicants wishing to begin this August. Fall 2020 applicants missing scores were given the opportunity to respond to essay prompts as a pathway to admission.

Last year, UIS announced that admission application fees for all students who enroll in 2020 would be waived. Applications from all students who wish to apply for fall 2020 classes at UIS will be accepted until August 24.

International students applying for fall 2021 admission will still be required to submit evidence of English proficiency through the Test of English as a Foreign Language, International English Language Testing System and Pearson English Language tests.

A number of other universities around the country have set pandemic-related test-optional policies in recent months.

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