CEDARVILLE, Ohio — COVID-19 forced one southwest Ohio college to change course and give students the option of submitting test scores. While it’s making things easier on those applying, the university has taken it one step further to make sure students can stay once they’re admitted.
As COVID-19 continues to impact colleges and universities in a variety of ways, Cedarville University Director of Admissions Matt Dearden said the impact could be seen in their admissions process. That's as countless ACT and SAT tests were canceled around the country.
“It had affected us to the tune of hundreds of applications, who were just missing a standardized test score and otherwise would have been fully ready to be reviewed. And so, at the end of the day, it became a no brainer for us to remove that really unfair hurdle for a lot of students," Dearden said.
It’s a hurdle that’s cleared the path for many students, at least for the next two years. Dearden said they held on to the requirement for so long because the test scores were helpful.
“We bring in students from a wide variety of different types of high schools, you know, public schools, private schools. We have a large homeschool population. So that was a good you know those test scores were a great tool for us to allow some level of outside external measuring stick," Dearden said.
But GPA’s alone can still provide what they need for admission.
And that’s made a way for students who couldn’t take the ACT or SAT, to get in and get scholarships.
“We created a system where students can still get that automatic merit based award at a high level, with just their high school GPA. And then if they do submit a test score or we have a test score of there's in the system that can even bump up their award a little higher. We want to put students who are applying and are accepted to Cedarville in as good or better position than they would have been with a test score, because we understand that that COVID has placed a ton of different restrictions on people that they had no control over.”
University officials say last year they had less than 50 admission applications submitted without standardized test scores compared to the hundreds this year. The university is currently working on a plan to determine all of the criteria surrounding the GPA based scholarship. They hope to have that complete soon especially since students have the ability to begin applying for the academic year.