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NKU Eliminates ACT, SAT Scores from Admissions Process

Northern Kentucky University announced that it is eliminating SAT and ACT scores from its admissions process.

Removing those traditional standardized tests from enrollment decisions is among changes aiming to reduce barriers to higher education for diverse learners, NKU said in a news release.

NKU's "Success by Design" strategic framework includes a goal of being more "student-ready" and regionally engaged.

Freshman applicants with an unweighted 2.75 or greater high school GPA are automatically admitted to NKU without submitting standardized test scores. Applicants with an unweighted GPA lower than 2.75 will need to submit ACT or SAT scores as part of the admissions application.

“Multiple studies have shown that student high-school grade point averages are significantly stronger predictors of college success than standardized test scores,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “This is an opportunity for accelerating change towards an equity-focused approach to student success. We must break down barriers, meet the needs of diverse learners and create greater access opportunities to an NKU education.”

Adopting a test-optional admissions process allows NKU to look at applicants holistically instead of reducing the decision to a mere test score and GPA, a news release said. Along with eliminating the test score requirement, NKU is waiving application fees through November 15.

“We changed our admissions requirements and aligned them with institutional aid to be more equitable and enable greater student success. Our research demonstrates that the high school GPA is the best predictor of student's long-term success,” said Kimberly Scranage, NKU’s vice president for Enrollment and Degree Management. “NKU is unique because of the way we're uplifting students through enhanced academic support. Our Pathfinder Program and Student Success plans offer comprehensive resources for helping students have a successful academic journey and timely graduation.”

The university has also frozen tuition costs for the 2020-21 academic year.

-Staff report

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