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Half of PASSHE schools go SAT/ACT optional

SAT/ACT scores will no longer be required to apply to half of the state-owned schools next year, partially because of the COVID-19 pandemic

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — SAT/ACT scores will no longer be required to apply to half of the state-owned schools next year, including Millersville University.

In 2014, the University piloted a program that gave applicants from York and Lancaster Counties the option to apply to Millersville with or without standardized test scores.

"Students who meet certain GPS requirements based on the courses they've taken in high school, the grades they've earned, possibly a class ranking if that's available," Katy Charles, director of admissions at Millersville University, said. "We would use that to determine if they were eligible for admission and then they wouldn't need to submit test scores."

There's been a significant decrease in the number of students taking the SATs/ACTs, which is why Millersville University decided to make them optional for all students who apply for the 2021 fall semester.

"The pandemic definitely played a part," Charles said. "We understand the opportunity to sit for an SAT or an ACT is not available for all of our students."

The University acknowledges that SAT/ACT scores don't define a person, and emphasized that this "test-optional" option isn't a free pass to get accepted.

"We, at the end of the day, are looking for reasons why we should admit a student to Millersville, what they can contribute to the University, and reasons why they might be successful," Charles said. "And we know that there are more ways to do that in addition to a standardized test."  

School leaders said it won't really know the impact COVID-19 has had on enrollment until the semester starts. Right now enrollment is 4% lower than this time last year, but it tends to fluctuate.

Students can still submit SAT/ACT scores if they have them. Millersville University is not the only state school making standardized test scores optional. Here is a list of the PASSHE schools and their requirements: