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UNC Drops ACT, SAT Requirement for Class of 2021 Graduates

July 15, 2020

High school students who are graduating next spring will not be required to submit a college entrance exam when applying to the University of Northern Colorado.

The statewide exemption allows colleges and universities to make the ACT and SAT optional for members of the graduating class of 2021 who will be first-year college students in fall 2021.

Due to the onset of the pandemic, exams were canceled last spring when 2021 graduates were juniors, the year in school when the ACT and SAT are typically administered. Incoming first-year students generally apply to college the fall of their senior year of high school. Tests rescheduled for the fall could preclude them from adhering to that application schedule.

“We have data to support that student’s achievement in their high school courses is a very strong indicator of success from the time they enroll to graduation at UNC, and we support this change,” said Kim Medina, UNC assistant vice president of Enrollment Management.

UNC’s admissions criteria include a review of:

  • high school grade-point average, which is considered one of the greatest predictors of success in college;
  • courses completed through their junior year; 
  • and what courses they are registered for in their senior year.

Applicants also have the option of submitting a short essay to explain factors that influenced their academic performance along with a résumé highlighting their involvement in activities and/or work outside of the classroom.

The fall 2021 application will open on Aug. 1.  To apply to UNC, visit www.unco.edu/admissions. Virtual appointments may also be scheduled on the site to visit with an admissions counselor who can answer specific questions about the application process.

FURTHER DETAILS REGARDING COLLEGE ADMISSION USE OF SAT AND ACT EXAM SCORES FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION CLASS OF 2021