UMES Announces New "Test-Optional" Admissions Policy - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UMES Announces New "Test-Optional" Admissions Policy

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is joining a national trend. The school is offering a "test-optional" admissions policy, which means that students are not required to submit standardized test scores when they apply. 

"We all know that it takes more than what you do on test day to do well in a college or university," Alphonso Garrett, director of admissions and recruitment, said. 

Under the new policy, students must have a 3.4 GPA or higher to be able to opt out of submitting their scores for tests like the SAT or ACT. Similar policies have been adapted at more than 1,000 schools across the US, like at Salisbury University and the University of Delaware.

"There's a growing body of research in higher education that the SAT or ACT, the standardized tests, are not greater predictors alone in the process," Garrett said. "It's the things that a student is doing day in and day out that are a better prediction of success."

Some current students believe the policy will be a big help to high school seniors who are now starting their college admissions process.

"Just applying to college in the first place and then having to have like a set score to even be able to apply to certain schools. I feel like it's just a lot of pressure on kids and families, so I think it'll take a lot of pressure off the students," junior Kiyah Brown-Samuels said.

Others said it will help open up more opportunities for students. 

"I think it's really good for enrollment. I feel like more kids will enroll and bring more money to the school and more people to the school," junior Jenyfer Boyer said. "I feel like a lot of kids are not test takers and I'm not either. I spent a lot of money studying for the SAT, getting tutors and stuff. So I think it will make more kids confident in applying."

It's a policy that Garrett said closely aligns with the university's mission.

"It's very important for an institution like UMES to do this because we do have a mission of access to college and affordable education, so this policy does tie directly in line with our institutional mission. That's very important to us," Garrett said.

The policy is in effect, so students applying for the spring and fall of 2020 do not have to submit test scores if they qualify. 

 

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