NIU dropping standardized tests in undergraduate admissions

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DEKALB. Ill.  — Northern Illinois University announced Wednesday it will eliminate the use of standardized tests in undergraduate admissions and merit scholarship decisions next year.

Any high school graduate who applies to NIU with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above will be guaranteed admission to the university in DeKalb.

In a statement, NIU President Lisa Freeman said the policy is a result of the university’s commitment to making college education both accessible and equitable for a diverse student population.

“It reflects our efforts campus-wide to eliminate unnecessary and biased barriers throughout a student’s educational path,” Freeman said.

The “test blind” policy goes into effort for applicants for the fall 2021 term.

College officials have long tried to assure students that admission involves more than test scores, saying grades, essays and other materials gave a clearer picture of student capabilities. However, admissions officials have said the message will be lost until schools drop the test score requirement.

NIU Provost Beth Ingram says once the university learns a high school student’s GPA, one standardized test score is irrelevant. She added the university believes the decision to drop the test will encourage students to “focus on getting the most out of their high school classes.”


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