Siouxland seniors impacted by universities waiving ACT/SAT requirements

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Taking the ACT or SAT is a rite of passage for many high school juniors and seniors, but the pandemic cancelled or postponed a majority of this year’s standardized tests.

Some Hinton High School seniors said they’ve been preparing for college since the 8th grade.

“They started us planning, they wanted us to choose an idea where we wanted to head, so then during our senior year, we could choose classes that we may need to go on to college,” said Reeder Batcheller, a senior high school student at Hinton Community School District.

But the pandemic disrupted their timeline for taking the ACT during their junior year.

“I was signed up and I was planning on taking it, but then we got the email go home, no more school, so I had to reschedule for this year, so I was planning on my first time being last year,” said Morgan Montgomery, a senior high school student at Hinton Community School District.

Senior students across the U.S. are now scrambling to find a testing site just in time for college application deadlines.

“Some of the ACT’s as soon as they open up, they are booked right away. So, if you want to get more of the private scholarships that require it, you really need to be on top of your game, then you have to hope that you get a good ACT score,” said Taylor Reuter, a high school senior at Hinton Community School District.

To help combat the issue, universities around the U.S. are moving to a test optional admissions process and that’s also a trend right here in Siouxland.

“Let’s look at the student as a whole, let’s find out what they have done, let’s maybe get a resume, let’s ask them some very pointed questions to really determine their difference and how are they are going to make a difference and what they want to do in the world,” said Matt Thomsen, the Vice President for Enrollment Management at Briar Cliff University.

Briar Cliff University is one of the nearly 400 universities across the U.S. waiving standardized testing scores, but this new admissions process is in uncharted territory.

“It’s something where we are going to have to continue to look at it. There are potential inequity issues with act and sat they have been around for a while and so we need to look at it is this something we want to do moving forward or is this something we will bring back again,” said Thomsen.

In the meantime, Hinton High School counselor Julie Clausen says she will continue to encourage student to take the ACT.

“Even though some of the schools are saying we don’t need it, we are still encouraging them to set their sights on trying to get that ACT so we can get that scholarship money, that private money, and still be qualified for it,” said Clausen.

“I think it’s a good show of character, even if they don’t require, just to put yourself out there and say this is the score I got, this is what you’re working with,” said Montgomery.

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