The North Dakota State Board of Higher Education voted Tuesday, June 30, to temporarily waive the requirement of standardized tests scores through the summer of 2022.

ACT and SAT scores are typically submitted as part of the application process for admission to the state's 11 colleges and universities. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on when those tests can take place, so the board voted to temporarily waive the requirement through the summer of 2022, as that is the last of the three terms that comprise the 2021-22 recruitment year, the North Dakota University System said in a news release.

“Because (North Dakota) high school students normally take the ACT during their junior year, this fall semester is probably the least of our concerns,” said Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Lisa Johnson. "It’s the following fall semester, 2021, that we anticipate might be more problematic. Additionally, we have anecdotally heard that two-thirds of Minnesota students have not taken the ACT."

The decision was voted on through the board's consent agenda during its Tuesday meeting.

Additionally, the board permitted NDUS colleges and universities to accept unofficial copies of high school and college transcripts for the purpose of admission through the summer of 2022.

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“The board and the colleges and universities of the North Dakota University System strive to remain flexible and adaptive in response to the limitations associated with COVID-19," Johnson said. "We understand the numerous challenges students and their families face and are trying to do our part to alleviate barriers to entry and access to education in the state."

The university system will reassess the current policy that requires submission of standardized test scores as part of the admissions process in the future.

Minnesota State University Moorhead announced Monday, June 29, it will no longer require either SAT or ACT scores for admissions. The change is effective this fall semester.

The university decided to eliminate standard test scores as a requirement because it removes barriers for prospective students and creates a more holistic approach to admissions.

The University of Minnesota Crookston is in the middle of a four-year pilot program that makes test scores optional for admission.