GV not requiring standardized test scores for fall 2022 applications


GVL Archives

Jacob DeWeerd, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University is allowing prospective first-year students to submit their applications without standardized test scores for the fall 2022 semester. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for some students to access standardized tests, and the decision to make scores optional aims to allow as many students as possible the opportunity to attend GVSU.

According to U.S News, SAT and ACT testing sites across the country have seen sessions postponed or canceled due to pandemic-related concerns, leaving students with no other options to take the tests. As the pandemic has persisted, many colleges and universities have made standardized test scores an optional requirement for admission for another year.

“Lack of access to standardized testing options resulted in GVSU initially making the decision to be test-optional for students entering during the fall 2021 semester,” said Director of Admissions Jodi Chycinski. “We will remain test-optional, as we do not know what barriers will exist this year due to the pandemic.”

Despite test scores now being optional, the applicant review process is not changing. The admissions office will continue to look at a student’s entire application whether or not it includes an SAT or ACT score. Application reviewers are also not assigning more weight to other factors like grade point average or classes taken to make up for the lack of test scores, according to Chycinski.

“The Admissions Office at Grand Valley takes a holistic approach to reviewing applications, meaning several factors of an application are evaluated to determine academic fit for GVSU,” Chycinski said. “These factors include grade point average, academic rigor, short answer response on the admissions application, leadership experiences, work and life experiences along with any additional information a student chooses to submit with the application for admissions.”

Chycinski said that applicants submitting test scores would not have a better chance of admission compared to applicants who choose not to.

“It’s not necessary to submit a standardized test score for admissions purposes,” Chycinski said. “However, we do have some merit scholarships that require submission of an SAT or ACT score for consideration.”

For students looking to be considered for as many merit-based scholarships as possible, GVSU’s admissions website states: “You may still submit test scores as a supplement to your application, even at a later date, for additional scholarship consideration.”

Prospective students now have the opportunity to make their applications stand out in other, potentially more meaningful ways as a result of test scores being optional.

“Without the emphasis on test scores, students can really shine by responding thoughtfully to our short answer questions, putting together strong activity and leadership lists as well as sharing any additional personal information that they feel will help us evaluate the total student,” Chycinski said.

According to the Washington Post, other schools like the University of California that have decided not to require standardized test scores have found that eliminating test score requirements can have a net positive effect on the admission of disadvantaged students. Disadvantaged students are seeing higher admission rates at UC than ever before, and data like this could lead to more permanent changes to how applications are structured at colleges and universities across the country. 

GVSU is no exception to this potential for updated admission requirements. 

“Admissions criteria are reviewed annually and anything that we learn from this year and the next will certainly be taken into consideration,” said Chycinski.

More information about admissions requirements for all prospective students can be found at www.gvsu.edu/admissions/.