Board of Regents to waive ACT requirement for 2021 entering class

Students applying for admission in the fall of 2021 will not be required to submit a standardized test score.

A+sign+for+the+ACT+corporate+office+is+seen+on+Monday%2C+July+27%2C+2020+off+of+Scott+Blvd.+in+Iowa+City.+%28Hannah+Kinson%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29

Hannah Kinson

A sign for the ACT corporate office is seen on Monday, July 27, 2020 off of Scott Blvd. in Iowa City. (Hannah Kinson/The Daily Iowan)

Rylee Wilson, News Editor


The state Board of Regents will waive the requirement for students to submit either an ACT or SAT score to be admitted to the University of Iowa, Iowa State University or the University of Northern Iowa, as cancellations due to COVID-19 make it difficult for some students to access testing. 

In this unprecedented time, we want to ensure that all students have the best opportunity to pursue higher education,” Regents’ President Michael Richards said in a press release. “We know that many students have had difficulty taking a standardized test due to cancellations. This action will eliminate a potential barrier.”

Students are still encouraged to take the ACT or SAT if possible, Board of Regents Chief Academic Officer Rachel Boon said in the release. 

“Our universities are comfortable in making admissions decisions using all the other information available for this upcoming cycle, if students cannot submit a standardized test score,” Boon said. “We hope this waiver will be helpful to students in this cohort.” 

Students admitted to the UI without an ACT or SAT score will still be considered for scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions, and may be considered for direct admission to academic programs, according to an email from UI spokesperson Anne Bassett. 

Students can self-report ACT or SAT scores after they are admitted until April 1, 2021. 

An individual review process will be used for applicants who apply without a standardized test score. 

The Board of Regents will offer the ACT at six different testing sites across the state, though scores from these tests can only be used to apply to Iowa’s three regents institutions or with Iowa community colleges. The tests are only open to Iowa high school students graduating in 2020 or 2021. 

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the ACT will be offered on the UI campus. Students will be required to sit six feet apart and wear masks, and proctors will be behind a plexiglass barrier. 

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