Butler no longer requires standardized test scores in applications. Photo courtesy of butler.edu.
ELLIE ALLEN | ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR | firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 15, Butler University made the decision to no longer require standardized test scores, such as ACT and SAT, as part of the application process. Students can now choose whether or not they want to have their test scores considered with their application to Butler.
The decision was made in response to the coronavirus, but it will apply for the high school class of 2021 and all future classes. The change will go into effect for first-year and transfer students on Aug. 1.
Lori Greene, Butler’s vice president for enrollment management, said Butler’s decision was made to relieve stress from prospective students in a press release.
“As admission officers, we are very aware that the college application process may be stressful in any given year,” Greene said in the press release. “Add the complexity of the COVID-19 crisis, and that process can be simply overwhelming. Our goal is to provide some clarity and reassurance to prospective students who are interested in the Butler experience.”
For students applying for the 2021-22 academic year, this will allow them to be viewed more holistically by the university.
David Boyle, the coordinator of college counseling at Glenbrook North High School, a high school in the northern suburbs of Chicago, said he agrees with this decision. Boyle’s daughter is a sophomore at Butler University, and he said he believes this decision will positively impact prospective students.
“I think it allows the students to have more control over who they are in the application process,” Boyle said. “It allows the students to say, ‘here is my testing as a part of who I am, and it’s representative of who I am as an overall student in the classroom’, or it allows the student to say ‘this isn’t a representation.’”
Boyle advises prospective students who have had the option to take a standardized test to look at the university they are applying to, and if their scores are within the average score range, to include them.
April 4 was the nationwide test date for the ACT, and it has been rescheduled for June 13. The SAT has canceled tests on March 25, April 14 and June 6.
Isabella Oliver, a current junior at Warrensburg-Latham High School, was able to take the ACT in February, but her school’s test date for the SAT on April 14 was canceled.
“Well, it really isn’t about the test scores yet for me, because mine are not final,” Oliver said. “But test scores will matter because I planned on doing well on them for academic scholarships.”
Oliver said that test scores haven’t impacted her college search, but she is concerned about how they will impact scholarships.
“As a student who is at the top of my class and was counting on my standardized test scores to bring in a lot of scholarships, it is disappointing to me that all of the hard work to do this, doesn’t matter,” Oliver said. “With that being said, it doesn’t really matter if they require it or not. I am going to apply to somewhere that feels like home.”
Many students had planned to visit colleges this spring to decide where they should apply, but due to the coronavirus, many campuses have canceled tours.
Maddy Jensen works as a tour guide for Butler University, and said she encourages all high school students who visit to apply, no matter their test scores.
“People have often shared test scores hoping I’ll be able to tell them if they’ll be accepted or not,” Jensen, a sophomore youth and community development major, said. “It’s concerning to me when families think that their test scores are the most important part of their application. Although a consideration, there are a number of factors that can influence an acceptance or denial.”
Boyle advises students to take advantage of online resources like virtual tours and information sessions and to be patient.
“The big piece is please be aware you’re not going to have that ‘a-ha moment’ where you’re going to say, ‘wow I really like this school, I want to continue looking at it because that comes from an emotional connection,’” Boyle said. “Be patient with yourself and know that in the end, hopefully, once you visit those campuses, then you’ll be able to have those emotional reactions.”
More information about application changes will be on the Butler admission website.