UNI removes standardized test requirements after Board of Regents waiver

Students applying to the University of Northern Iowa next year will not be required to submit standardized test scores after the Iowa Board of Regents moved to waive those requirements this week.  

“This is a welcome decision that helps remove barriers for students in an unprecedented time,” said UNI admissions director Terri Crumley. The move to test-optional admissions applies only to the upcoming admissions cycle. 

“We have always been committed to holistic review in admissions, looking at each person’s entire application, not just quantitative scores,” said Crumley. “Our goal is to build a diverse campus community that enriches everyone’s learning experience.” 

Importantly, UNI will award scholarships with or without an ACT.  Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher will be awarded, at minimum, a scholarship of $4,000 ($1,000 per year).  Additional academic scholarships are also available based on students academic qualifications.

As part of his authority under the Regents State of Emergency declared on March 18, 2020, Board President Michael J. Richards has signed a waiver of Board of Regents policy and Iowa Administrative Code, which requires a standardized test score from any applicant to one of Iowa’s Regent Universities, the board said in a press release. 

“In this unprecedented time, we want to ensure that all students have the best opportunity to pursue higher education,” Richards said in the press release. “We know that many students have had difficulty taking a standardized test due to cancellations. This action will eliminate a potential barrier.”

“If they are able, we still encourage all students to take the ACT or SAT,” said Dr. Rachel Boon, Board of Regents Chief Academic Officer. “But our universities are comfortable in making admissions decisions using all the other information available for this upcoming cycle, if students cannot submit a standardized test score. We hope this waiver will be helpful to students in this cohort.”



Steve Schmadeke, UNI public relations manager, 319-273-6120, steve.schmadeke@uni.edu