The University of Chicago Becomes Test Optional

Flickr user Luiz Gadelha Jr.

If you’ve been following the recent news, you may have heard that the University of Chicago is making the SAT and ACT optional. They will not be required to be submitted along with your application. Here’s what that means for you:

Not the First

The University of Chicago is not the first college or university to do away with having the SAT or ACT mandatory for applications. The George Washington University, Bates College, University of Iowa, and Wake Forest University are only four schools that make the tests optional. In fact, there are well over 200 schools in the country that do not require the ACT or SAT.

However, the University of Chicago IS the first top research university to no longer require the test scores, making this move a surprise.

Not The Only Changes

The university actually underwent a number of changes for the upcoming 2019 freshman class or Class of 2023. The college will now be offering full scholarships to families who earn under $125,000, incentives for first generation students, and scholarships for veterans and first responders’ children. More financial aid options and reduced fees will also be offered, including the ability to send in your own transcripts to reduce the fees students have to pay to apply.

Applicants to the University of Chicago can also choose to include a video of themselves, create content that is non-standard or concerning the student’s accomplishments, and submit the test scores they deem worthy of their skills. In addition, the university will be expanding partnerships, technology, and funding for programs.

You May Still Want To Take the ACT or SAT

Even though a number of schools have done away with the SAT and ACT requirements, that doesn’t mean you should skip the tests all together. The submission of your test scores is optional, but if you do well, they could provide insight into your skills and knowledge. You are still welcome to submit your scores even if it’s not required.

Also, you may discover you want to apply to a college that does require the SAT or ACT scores still. You don’t want to be stuck not being able to go after schools that you are interested in because you skipped the test. It’s important to do your research into each college’s application guidelines to ensure you’re not missing any information.

The University of Chicago won’t be the last college in the United States to do away with the SAT and ACT requirements and it will make other research universities review their own policies. However, that doesn’t mean you should skip these standardized tests entirely. It’s important to submit the information that will highlight your skills and achievements, and this may just be your SAT or ACT score. Remember to look carefully into each school’s application requirements to ensure you’re supplying all the necessary documents and information. And make sure to check out the University of Chicago’s new scholarship and financial aid offerings along with all the other changes they made to their application process.

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Hilary Cairns

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