UMN moves to test-optional for 2021 application process

The Twin Cities campus follows the Crookston campus and several other Big Ten universities in making this switch.

Illustration by Hailee Schievelbein

Hailee Schievelbein

Illustration by Hailee Schievelbein

by Jasmine Snow

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is going to be test-optional for incoming first-year students for fall 2022, per an email from the University Admissions Office.

The 2021 undergraduate application process will not require ACT or SAT scores, according to the email sent to certain prospective students and a published statement on the University’s admissions site.

The move would primarily impact third-year high school students whose standardized testing may have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as transfer students.

Students who have already submitted standardized test scores can decide whether to include their score as part of the application submission. 

The University traditionally uses a holistic review process, in which standardized tests often act in a “primary factor” when evaluating a student’s readiness to be admitted. These tests have often been criticized for inhibiting low-income students and students of color, and universities across the country have begun using test-optional or test-flexible models. 

Other Big Ten universities that employ or will begin to employ test-optional or test-flexible models include Pennsylvania State University, Northwestern University, Rutgers University, Indiana University Bloomington, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The Ohio State University.

It is still unclear whether the move will impact applicants after the 2021 application process or will be applied at the Duluth, Rochester and Morris campuses. 

The Crookston campus employed a test-optional admissions model early last year. 

This is a breaking news report. More information will be added as it becomes available.