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Test-optional expansion

In addition to general admissions, the U goes ACT/SAT test-optional for merit-based scholarships and direct admission programs.

In June, the University of Utah announced its two-year pilot study to make the submission of standardized test scores, the SAT or ACT, optional for the purpose of undergraduate admissions. Today, the U is augmenting its test-optional pilot to apply not only to admission, but also to merit scholarship consideration and direct admission programs.

“It is clear that this is the best option to ensure equitable access for our students,” said Steve Robinson, senior associate vice president for enrollment management at the U. “We originally hoped standardized testing centers would begin opening back up throughout the fall semester. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen instead are more testing centers shutting down due to COVID-19 and even some natural disasters.”

Students who do not earn a GPA that is directly comparable to other high school students, such as those who have a GED, are home-schooled or those from non-accredited high schools, will still be required to submit a standardized test score.

“The college admissions process is incredibly stressful for many students,” said John Marfield, executive director of admissions. “Add on to that a nationwide pandemic and that anxiety is exponentially increased. We do not want students to worry about traveling long distances, potentially outside their home state to take a college admissions test. Instead, we want students to focus their time and energy on their classes in high school.”

The early action deadline to apply to the U for fall 2021 admission is Dec. 1, 2020. The application deadline for merit scholarship consideration is February 1.