Test Optional

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You are more than a test score.

We know that the best indicator of your success in college is how hard you worked in high school, not how well you scored on a standardized test.

SIU no longer requires submission of SAT and ACT scores for future undergraduate students with a high school GPA of 2.75 or above. If you apply now and have met course requirements, you will be admitted pending a final transcript verifying your GPA.

More good news:

If you plan to enroll as a new undergraduate student in summer or fall 2021, you’ll also be eligible to be considered for most SIU scholarships based on your GPA.

All future undergraduate students from the U.S. are also eligible for in-state tuition rates.

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Pulliam Hall
Test optional admission applies only to prospective undergraduates and transfer students with less than 26 credit hours from the U.S. Please visit our graduate and international admissions pages for requirements for graduate and international students.

Test Optional FAQ's

  • When does this new policy take effect?
    • It takes effect immediately.
  • What if a student already applied but was denied admission under the former policy but would now be eligible for admission under the new policy?
    • All applications for the fall 2020 academic year will be reviewed using the new policy criteria.  This means we will be reaching out to students who may have previously been denied or whose application can now be acted upon because a test score is no longer required.
  • If I don’t have an ACT/SAT score, am I eligible for a scholarship?
    • Students will be eligible for many scholarships under the new admissions criteria beginning for the fall 2021 academic year.  For students interested in consideration for merit-based scholarships who plan to enter in the fall 2020, we will use the existing criteria, which include the use of an ACT/SAT score. 
  • Will students still be eligible for financial aid if they don't submit test scores?
    •  Yes!
  • Which scholarships will students be eligible for?
    • We are reviewing all of our scholarships to make that determination. Our top scholarships – chancellor’s and university excellence – for example, will still require submission of a score, but many others will not.
  • Why wait until 2021?
    • The plan is effective immediately, but we want to be fair to those who have already applied and submitted their test scores for fall 2020. We also want to review our scholarships carefully.
  • If I can be admitted using my GPA only, should I take the ACT/SAT anyway?
    • For students interested in enrolling for the fall 2020 academic year, we will continue to use the existing merit-based scholarship criteria, which includes the use of an ACT/SAT score. Scores will also be required for our top academic scholarships, such as the chancellor’s scholarship.
  • Some programs have additional admissions requirements.  Which ones are those and will those be changed too?
    • Admissions requirements for programs that currently have additional criteria are being reviewed to determine whether the criteria will change. We will have the answers in time for students applying for summer or fall 2021 to make an informed decision about taking the ACT or SAT.
  • Are you taking this action in anticipation it will have a positive effect on enrollment? 
    • While we are always hopeful any action we take in regards to admissions results in greater interest in SIU, that is not the driving factor behind this decision.
    • SIU has a long history of attracting strong students from diverse backgrounds and we want to make sure this tradition continues.
    • If we put students first, we will see positive results from our efforts.  This new policy puts students first.
  • Does this apply to all students or just students in the state of Illinois?
    • It applies to any incoming undergraduate student from the United States.
  • What if the GPA is below 2.75?
    • Undergraduate students whose grade-point-averages are below 2.75 will continue to be eligible for admission based on submitted ACT or SAT scores. Admission decisions for those not automatically eligible for admission will continue to be reviewed for consideration for provisional admission to SIU using a number of other factors.
  • Does this apply to international students?
    • There are separate requirements for international students that will not change.