SIU to end SAT, ACT score requirements for admission

By Staff Report, News Desk

Southern Illinois University Carbondale has announced they will no longer require ACT or SAT scores for admission to the university, according to a press release. 

Applicants with a high school grade point average of 2.75 or above who have met course requirements will be admitted to the university regardless of whether they submit their SAT or ACT scores, the release said.

“Research has consistently demonstrated that the most important predictor of college success is the high school grade point average,” Interim Chancellor John M. Dunn said. “Standardized tests can be a barrier to many students due to cost and demographic factors. We have a responsibility to level the playing field and ensure that every student with potential has an opportunity to study at SIU.” 


Students enrolling for summer or fall 2021 with a 2.75 or above will be eligible for consideration for most scholarships without submitting standardized test scores. 

According to FairTest, a national organization that advocates for fairness in the college admissions process, more than 1,000 institutions have made standardized tests optional, including the University of Chicago, the University of Arizona and Kansas State University, the release said.

“SIU has a long history of attracting strong students from diverse backgrounds, and we want to make sure this tradition continues,” Dunn said. “More than 40 percent of our students are the first in their families to go to college.”

According to FairTest, standardized tests tend to favor students from high socio-economic backgrounds and whose parents have college educations. 

“Our goal is to eliminate as many barriers to a college education as possible,” Dunn said.

The test-optional policy will go into effect immediately, according to the release. The decision to set the cut-off at a 2.75 GPA is based on the university’s review of students who have been successful at SIU. 

“Students come to us with a wide range of GPAs and test scores,” Dunn said. “We know that those with a GPA of 2.75 or above are successful here, in part due to the strength and commitment of our faculty. GPAs are a reliable indicator because they reflect a student’s willingness to put forth effort and engage in the learning process – both factors that contribute to positive outcomes in college.”


The release said undergraduate students with a GPA below 2.75 will continue to be eligible for admission based on submitted ACT or SAT scores. The automatic admission criteria include pathways for students who score a 23 or higher on the ACT or who are in the top 10% of their high school graduating class.  

Certain academic programs may continue to require additional admission requirements, and admission decisions for those not automatically eligible for admission will continue to be reviewed for consideration for provisional admission to SIU using a number of other factors.

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