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Northern Illinois University drops standardized test scores for admission

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DEKALB, Ill. (CNN) – Northern Illinois University, NIU, will no longer use ACT and SAT scores for general admissions.

Starting for 2021 admissions, no standardized test scores will be used to determine if you’re admitted to NIU. The president said they don’t matter.

“Whether a student will succeed at NIU, whether they will graduate within a reasonable amount of time with a degree in hand, those scores tell us nothing,” Lisa Freeman, president of NIU, said.

Instead, all NIU applicants with a 3.0 GPA or above will be guaranteed admission.

Less than two miles away, at Dekalb High School, students welcome the news.

“I think that’s a really cool opportunity for people my age and down below, other classes,” student Garry Ayers said.

Freeman said students and faculty were critical, but it’s also data-driven.

According to Freeman, they found standardized test scores often depend on parental income, parent’s education level and whether students took test preparation classes. In other words, money matters.

The president says they would rather focus on what students of all incomes can control.

“Students control how hard they work in high school, they control rigor of the courses that they take, the things they do to develop themselves as leaders,” Freeman said. “Those are the things that are important to us.”

NIU’s president said the school will look at circumstances for each student, and try to determine if that student is likely to succeed.

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