Colleges Waiving SAT and ACT Requirements for Merit Scholarships

Colleges Waiving SAT and ACT Requirements for Merit Scholarships
Izzy Hall

Many colleges have waived SAT and ACT score requirements for high school seniors currently applying to college due to how difficult it has been to sign up for standardized testing during the coronavirus pandemic. Now some colleges are also waiving standardized test score requirements when awarding merit scholarships to incoming students. Instead of requiring SAT and ACT scores, these schools will award scholarships based on high school GPA.

Standardized test scores have long been a deciding factor in whether to award a student a merit-based scholarship, for both colleges and universities and scholarship providers. But this year, COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, necessary social distancing and a dose of disorganization has made it difficult to even take a standardized test, let alone get a high score. Students and their parents are wondering – if students cannot take the SAT or ACT, can they still earn merit scholarships?

That’s why schools like Utah State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and University of Montevallo are waiving the standardized test requirement for merit scholarships for the Class of 2021. Instead, these schools will use a student’s high school GPA to determine scholarship eligibility. Most have announced that a 3.0 GPA or higher will qualify incoming students for merit scholarships. And just as their college scholarships are test-optional, so too are their college admissions processes.

Whether more colleges will adopt this policy is yet to be seen, but it is still early in the 2020-2021 application cycle, with the first college application deadlines – for Early Action and Early Decision – to arrive in November. will keep our database up-to-date with information on changed scholarship requirements. We connect students to both merit and need-based scholarships, so try a free scholarship search today and discover what scholarships are open to your unique student profile.

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