Myth: If I’m Attending a Community College, I Won’t Need to Take the ACT/SAT

crumpled test papers

Flickr user Ian Crowther

Do community colleges require SAT or ACT scores? Short answer: most community colleges across the US do not. This includes the SAT and the ACT. Community colleges are usually open enrollment. That means as long as you have a high school diploma or a GED, you are eligible to apply. Their application process is also very simple.

How do you apply to a community college?

To apply to any community college you will need to fill in an application form, submit your high school transcript or GED, and pay a nominal application fee. Some community colleges may require you to take a placement test. You may also need to meet with an academic counselor before registering for classes.

However, the above cannot be considered a blanket statement. You will need to take the SAT or ACT if you are interested in enrolling in certain specific programs such as health sciences, engineering, or nursing. If you are planning on applying for any specific program, check the admission criteria to see if the SAT or ACT scores are required.

You will also need to submit your SAT or ACT scores if you decide to transfer to a four-year university.

Should you or should you not take the SAT/ACT?

Don’t just presume that the SAT or ACT is unnecessary for community college. You could be wrong. All community colleges have their admission requirements clearly mentioned on their website. Check the requirements of all the colleges you are interested in.

If there is a possibility you may transfer to a 4-year university, it is far better to take the SAT or ACT just in case. In addition to college admissions, there are financial aid opportunities that can also require the submission of ACT / SAT test scores. Many scholarships, for example, might have a criterion of a 24 or higher on the ACT. So, do community colleges require SAT or ACT scores? Not always, but it’s potentially in your best interest to take the tests anyway.

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