Most of the universities are abandoning the SAT and ACT exams due to the pandemic caused by the COVID-19. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is no exception in this case and has announced on Tuesday the notice of discarding the SAT and ACT scores for their spring and fall semesters of 2021 for the incoming freshmen and transfer students (having lesser than 30 credit hours).
In addition to the above notice, SIUE will now admit the undergrads based on their merit scholarships and will consider the Grade Point Average or GPA for the direct admission or a different standardized score.
Scott Belobrajdic, EdD, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management has stated how the COVID-19 has restricted public gatherings which consequenced in the inability to take the SAT or ACT exams.
Coming to the admission of fall 2021, if the candidate has scored a 2.6 GPA in their high school out of 4.0, they will be instantly admitted. Candidates scoring a GPA of around 2.0 - 2.59 will be assessed by the admissions review committee who might be needed to provide their 7th standard transcript of high-school and statement. The website has clearly stated the guidelines regarding the same.
Talking about direct entry, SIUE has launched direct admission for its most popular and competitive programs like the School of Education, Business, Health, and Human Behaviour, Engineering and Nursing and School of Pharmacy will have conditional entry. It should be noted that all the programs have test-optional requirements that need to be studied from the website.
Scholarships will now have less rigidity as the requirements will not consider test scores anymore. The freshmen candidates can now certify for a scholarship if they meet any one of the requirements like Securing a cumulative 3.0 GPA out of a 4.0 score scale, a minimal SAT score of 1,130 or a minimal ACT score of 23. Students are also offered need-based scholarships based on their financial requirements as per their demonstration. The website contains even more details about the availability of need-based funding.
“We would like to adopt the policy permanently in recognition of research demonstrating testing bias and inequities,” as stated by Belobrajdic. He has further stated that “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.”
Carrie Butts-Wilmsmeyer, Ph.D., director of SIUE’s Center for Predictive Analytics organized research where it has been stated that “both GPA and ACT (standardized) test scores can predict the likelihood of student retention at SIUE’’. It has further been added that the GPA score has higher values than that of ACT. In the case of certain majors, this may not hold value but the general major areas have not displayed any discontent regarding the same. To place an overview, the high school GPAs are measured 6.5 times more heavily. From her viewpoint, candidates of SIUE with a GPA of 2.6 consists of 78.6% likeliness to return for year two.