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Colleges, universities changing admissions guidelines during coronavirus pandemic

University of Miami makes SAT, ACT test scores optional
Posted at 10:47 AM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 10:57:48-04

JUPITER, Fla. — Standardized testing requirements might be put on hold for admissions to some colleges and universities.

So far, there is one thing that we can all agree on. The previous school year was anything but ordinary, and it looks like that will continue this fall.

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For rising seniors, they wonder what the next year will look like.

"The whole situation has been stressing me out to the point I started getting stomach problems," said Rhianna Graybell, a rising senior at Jupiter High School.

Graybell said she is wondering what the college applications process, including the SAT and ACT exams, will look like in the time of COVID-19.

"I'm not 100 percent sure where I stand with it," Graybell said.

There is a growing list of colleges and universities forgoing ACT and SAT exams as part of admissions during the pandemic. Recently, the University of Miami started "test optional" admissions, pointing to concerns over how to take the exams safely and increased stress due to the coronavirus.

Sharron Frederick, a therapist, said these tests are a huge stressor for adolescents.

"The University of Miami has recognized how stressful it is, because they are taking it away during a stressful time, saying we know this is a stressor for you guys, so this year we are going to do it by portfolios, interviews," Frederick said.

Graybell said she's not sure where she'll attend college, but remains sort of split on getting rid of test scores as part of the admissions process.

"I think it would help, but I feel like it's a bigger disadvantage to the colleges," Graybell said. "For people who have worked really hard for it, it's not really fair."

Only time will tell if this becomes the "new norm."

"It's a very tricky thing. I think it's something that definitely needs to be more researched," said Frederick.