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SIU-Carbondale Ends SAT/ACT Admissions Requirements

Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio
Left to right: Provost Meera Komarruju, Interim Chancellor John Dunn and Associate Chancellor for Enrollment Management Jennifer DeHaemers at Friday's announcement.

SIU-Carbondale is joining more than a thousand other institutions in no longer requiring the SAT or ACT test scores for admission.

Interim Chancellor John Dunn says this aligns SIU-C with national trends to make standardized tests optional.
"Standardized tests can be a barrier to many students, due to cost and demographic factors. Standardized tests also tend to favor students who come from high socio-economic families and whose parents have a college education."

Dunn says he believes a student's high school grade point average is a better indicator for college success.

"GPA's are a reliable indicator because they reflect a student's willingness to put forth effort and engage in a learning process. Both are factors that contribute to positive outcomes in college and I might add, also, later in the work environment."

He says the goal is to eliminate more barriers to a college education.

"This is more than, 'Can we get more applications or admit more students?' This is doing what we believe is the right thing to do. Many in higher education have known this for years, but we've been reluctant to act."

Dunn says the SIU-C faculty supported the proposal right away.

"It wasn't what you would call a contentious or challenging conversation. If anything, I think their message was, 'Let's do it and let's do it now. Let's don't study this to death. Let's do it!"

School officials announced Friday that SIU-C will accept applications from high school students with a 2.75 grade point average or higher without a standardized test score. Provost Meera Komarraju says a 2.75 GPA is the right fit for the Carbondale campus.

"We looked at data from our own students on how they do in terms of retention and so on and we found that 2.75 is actually a better predictor than even 3.0"

Associate Chancellor for Enrollment Management Jennifer DeHaemers says a high percentage of SIU-C applicants fall under this standard.

"Yesterday (Thursday), I was reviewing some files and I would say there were probably 50 in the set I was looking at. I would guess, just off the top of my head here, probably 30 of them, so that would be what 60%, would be 2.75 or higher."

SIU-C officials say the average GPA for students entering the university in 2019 was 3.30.