Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will not require standardized SAT and ACT scores in spring and fall 2021 for incoming freshmen and transfers (with fewer than 30 credit hours) to be considered for admission.
In addition, SIUE announced this week it will consider freshmen for merit scholarships and direct entry admission options based on grade-point average (GPA) or a standardized test score.
“Because of COVID-19 gathering restrictions in Illinois, most of our prospective students have not had access to the SAT or ACT standardized tests,” said Scott Belobrajdic, EdD, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management.
For admission through fall 2021, students with a cumulative 2.6 high school grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale will be automatically admitted. Students with a cumulative 2.0-2.59 high school GPA will be considered by the admission review committee, which may require additional information such as a 7th semester high school transcript and statement.
In regard to direct entry, students can be considered for direct admission to SIUE’s most competitive programs in the Schools of Business; Education, Health and Human Behavior; Engineering; and Nursing, as well as conditional entry to the School of Pharmacy. All programs have test-optional criteria.
Scholarships will be more readily accessible as test scores are no longer required for consideration. Freshmen can qualify for a merit scholarship by meeting any one of the following criteria: 1) Cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale; 2) minimum SAT ERW + M only score of 1,130; or a minimum ACT score of 23. Need-based scholarships are awarded to admitted students demonstrating financial need as funding is available.
“We would like to adopt the policy permanently in recognition of research demonstrating testing bias and inequities,” Belobrajdic said. “A national trend has been developing for several years, which is likely to remove the standardized testing requirement from the admission process for many schools within the next five years.”
Based on preliminary research completed by Carrie Butts-Wilmsmeyer, PhD, director of SIUE’s Center for Predictive Analytics, “both GPA and ACT (standardized) test scores can predict the likelihood of student retention at SIUE. GPA is much more important than ACT test scores overall. There may be some majors where this is not true, although the general major area did not suggest this is a concern. However, in general, high school GPA was weighted approximately 6.5 times more heavily.” Her research analysis shows SIUE students with a high school GPA of 2.6 have a 78.6% probability of returning for year two.
For all Illinois residents whose family income is $63,000 or less and assets are $50,000 or less (based on FAFSA data), SIUE will cover the remaining tuition and mandatory fee balances after applying all federal, state and institutional aid to student balances (no loans).