SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Some local universities waived standardized tests during the pandemic and the tests could remain optional for admission.

Briar Cliff University made the ACT and SAT optional prior to the Spring 2020 semester. Matt Thomsen, the vice president for enrollment management at Briar Cliff, said while the tests became optional back in 2020 because of the pandemic, other factors have persuaded school officials to stick with this decision for now.

“Moving forward, I would say it’s really more of a look at the student as a whole,” Thomsen said. “That’s what we like to look at, and so for us, the ACT and SAT have always been a piece of letting the student come into Briar Cliff and be a part of our family here.”

Thomsen said he thinks the standardized tests should not be tied to admission but rather academic guidance.

“The piece of the ACT and SAT can really be used for advising, making sure the student is going to be successful in the classes they might be put into but for admissions, it’s really not a critical piece,” Thomsen said.

Betsy Chilton, the assistant director of admissions at Morningside University, said even though the tests have been made optional, there are still incentives for students to take the tests.

“Once students are admitted to Morningside, they will automatically receive a scholarship based on their acceptance and then if they were to take the ACT or SAT, the first level that they may be eligible for more academic money would be getting a 23 on the ACT,” Chilton said.

Both Morningside and Briar Cliff officials said they plan on keeping the tests optional for at least the next couple years.