EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University will no longer require standardized test scores as part of the admissions process.
Elena Martin, a graduating high school senior who is on her way to becoming a Spartan, didn't submit her SAT scores when she applied.
"Even though I spent countless nights studying, I just did not get a grade that I felt like measured my ability that could do good in school," she said.
She was able to do so because of a change made by MSU officials in response to the pandemic.
"When things changed related to the pandemic, students were unable to get in to take the standardized test for the ACT or the SAT," said Admissions Director John Ambrose.
And so university officials suspended the requirement.
"We went test-optional and spring of 2020. So for the students who were entering for the fall of '21, they would have in the fall of 20, an opportunity to apply without a test score," Ambrose said.
Going forward the admissions process will look at the rigorousness of the courses a student took, their GPA and their personal statement.
"It gives us an insight into who they are not based on the numbers. Because most of us know where we are not the numbers on our test scores," Ambrose said.
In fall of 2020, MSU accepted more than 70 percent of its applicants, during that time students were not required to submit scores. Ambrose said the university has other data that helps them assess students' chances of success at MSU.
"We get a lot of repeat applications from students from the same high schools every year, so knowing that we've been collecting data over the years, and we have data on how those students are doing their first semester here at MSU, coming from that particular high school," he said.
Though some may think this makes getting into college less competitive, Ambrose believes MSU is still "very competitive."
Prospective students will have the option to submit their scores until 2026. MSU officials have not decided whether they will keep submitting test scores as an option beyond that.