University of Alaska Fairbanks waves SAT and ACT requirements to bolster COVID-19 safety

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 4:52 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -Due to the safety concerns of hosting multiple students in close proximity for test-taking during the COVID-19 pandemic, The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) is waving the requirement for SAT or ACT test scores for all undergraduate student admission for the 2021-2022 academic year.

UAF’s Acting Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Samara Taber explained, “This is specific to UAF, but nationally many schools are waving this requirement in light of COVID-19 and many test centers being closed.”

The University leadership does not yet know how long this change will stay in effect. “We’re looking into that right now. We’re trying to be flexible as the situation changes. Obviously we don’t want to create any unnecessary barriers for our students.” Taber said.

While it is now unnecessary for successful enrollment, students seeking to take the test anyway have remote alternatives to in-person. “There are other options for students who want to take their test scores, and the college board is providing different options for students. But we want to make sure that our students aren’t hindered by any test centers, or any other class associated with traveling to testing centers far from home. This is of particular concern to our students living in rural communities.” Taber said.

When asked for comment on what kind of feedback the university has received from students and community members on this decision to wave the admission requirement for the two well known tests, Taber said it’s been overwhelmingly positive. “We’re meeting the students where they’re at. And I think it’s important to also note that SAT and ACT scores are sometimes useful, but high school or college GPAs are often more predictive of academic success for our students.”

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