UNA changes admission requirements for 2021

The University of North Alabama is removing the ACT test requirement for admissions for the 2021 school year
Updated: Oct. 30, 2020 at 9:05 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - We’re all adapting to the changes that have come with the pandemic, including colleges. Many schools are now adjusting their admission requirements.

Some colleges and universities are now waiving the requirement for standardized tests like the ACT. The University of North Alabama is one of them.

The University of North Alabama is removing the ACT test requirement for admissions for the 2021 school year. WAFF did some work and found out this can actually help students from low-income families get a boost towards a college degree.

It joins the majority of Alabama’s 4-year-universities in continuing a policy that started in the wake of the pandemic.

“Due to COVID, ACT has cancelled tests this year. So thinking about them and wanting to be considerate of them not being able to test, we did decide to wave the ACT and SAT requirement,” said UNA Admissions Director Julie Taylor.

Taylor says with the change, admissions is now a much more comprehensive process.

“Now, we’re just looking at high school GPA for admissions purposes and we are going to offer scholarships to students just based off of their high school GPA and then allow for students to send a resume to get additional scholarships too,” Taylor added.

Studies show students who get good or decent grades but score poorly on the SAT or ACT are likely to be low-income students of color. Removing the standardized test score barrier can help make college more accessible to those students.

Colbert County Schools Superintendent Dr. Gale Satchel knows this all too well.

75 percent of the students in the district are economically disadvantaged.

“I came from a poor background, single parent and certainly testing was not my forte, however they did give me an opportunity,” Satchel said.

She says that this allows students in her district to look beyond the number on a test.

“I see this as UNA giving our boys and girls the opportunity to further their education without the stigma of having one test score determine whether or not they are worthy of post secondary education,” Satchel added.

And as far as the future of admissions goes, “I think the pandemic accelerated this for a lot of institutions. So i don’t think we will go back to the way things used to be."

This is definitely a big shift for the future of college admissions.

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