Miami University suspends ACT, SAT admission requirement for Fall 2021 on the Oxford campus

Merit scholarship and honors selection also will be test optional

sundialsunset.jpgMiami University has announced it will be test optional and not require ACT or SAT test scores of first-year students applying for admission for fall 2021.

Most college-bound high school students in the U.S. take the ACT or SAT exam in the spring of their junior year to prepare for college admission. When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of spring 2020 ACT and SAT test dates, students missed the opportunity to take one of the tests at a time in their education when they are best prepared for the exams. 

To ensure equitable access to students who were most affected by the test date cancellations, Miami will suspend its ACT or SAT test requirement for Fall 2021. Students who want test scores to be considered in admission and scholarship decisions will still have that option. 

“Although Miami has required ACT or SAT test scores from first-year applicants in the past, it has never been the only factor the admission committee considers in application evaluation, nor is it the most important factor,” said Bethany Perkins, Miami University director of admission. 

“Grades in individual courses throughout high school and the strength of a student’s curriculum, in the context of what’s available to them at their school, are better predictors of college success than is a one-day test,” she said.

Perkins added that Miami’s evaluation of admission applications will continue to consider factors such as grades, GPA and strength of curriculum; application essays; co-curricular and extracurricular activities; talent; and personal background, among others. The absence of a test score will not impact a student’s application.

A test score also will not be required for applicants to be considered for merit scholarships or admission to competitive programs such as honors or the Farmer School of Business. 

All applications are evaluated both to determine whether students are academically prepared to succeed and to gauge how the applicant might contribute to their academic program and the community overall. With competitive programs, how a student may contribute to the community becomes a more important factor in admission decisions.   

“We know Miami students are much more than a test score,” said Jenny Darroch, incoming dean of the Farmer School of Business. “We produce some of the best business school graduates in the nation because our students are well-rounded. They were motivated to go beyond the minimum in high school, and that enthusiasm only intensifies when they are exposed to the opportunities they have at Miami.”

Although most first-year students will have the option to apply test-optional for Fall 2021, there are some exceptions. Nursing and teacher education applicants as well as students who want to participate in NCAA athletics will be required to provide an ACT or SAT test score (nursing and teacher education to meet program accreditation requirements, athletes to satisfy NCAA requirements). In addition, students who are homeschooled and those who attend schools that do not issue grades will be required to provide test scores with their application.

“We believe Miami’s test-optional policy for Fall 2021 is in the best interest of students who endured so many disruptions during their junior year of high school,” Perkins said. “By taking this action, we’re eliminating what could be a roadblock for some students who want to attend Miami University.”

For more information, visit Miami University’s test-optional admission FAQs website.