The University of Alabama at Birmingham has announced it will extend a pilot program instituted in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, making the submission of ACT or SAT test scores for admissions or scholarship consideration optional for applicants through fall 2024.
While high school GPA and quality of curriculum will be evaluated as the primary criteria for determining academic preparedness, students will continue to have the option of including standardized test scores or not upon applying to UAB.
“This program has evolved: What began as a way to break down barriers in the college application process caused by COVID has allowed us to analyze our data and student success metrics,” said Bradley Barnes, Ph.D., vice provost of Enrollment Management at UAB. “Two additional years of making test scores optional will give us a strong data set to make more informed decisions about the future of our admissions process.”
UAB’s extension of this program meets the national trend of waiving standardized test scores as a requirement for enrollment, with nearly 80 percent of bachelor’s degree-granting colleges and universities not requiring ACT or SAT scores from students seeking to enroll in fall 2022.
In reflecting on the choice to extend the pilot program for two more admissions cycles, UAB considered that 33 percent of the 2021 freshman class enrolled as test-optional students, while 60 percent of test optional enrollees were from underrepresented backgrounds.
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“This allows us to attract talented students from a variety of backgrounds, and also gives a student who may not perform well on standardized tests the option to be evaluated differently,” said Tyler Peterson, Ed.D., executive director of Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships at UAB. “The continuation of this pilot will give us additional time to support students and hopefully attract more prospective students to apply to UAB in the coming years.”
Information about admissions requirements can be found at uab.edu/admissions/apply. The UAB High School Counselor website can be accessed at go.uab.edu/hscounselors. School counselors can use this site to connect to the counselor portal and check application status.
The standardized test waiver applies to undergraduate admissions. UAB professional schools have their own admissions policies and may still require test scores as part of the application process.