NMU has joined a number of instititions across the country in annoucing test-related changes to admissions policies. New freshman admissions decisions will be based only on high school GPA through at least Fall 2021. The test-blind policy could become permanent after that point, pending approval by the NMU Academic Senate.
Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the test-blind policy:
Why is NMU piloting a test-blind admission policy?
The change was prompted in part by barriers to administering standardized tests during the coronavirus pandemic. It is also supported by statistical evidence from national sources and NMU analyses that high school grade-point average, not SAT/ACT scores, is the most reliable gauge of how students will perform in college.
What does test-blind mean? Is it the same as test-optional?
Test-blind means that applicants are not required to submit test scores and we will not review standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) for general admission for freshman applicants for these terms: winter 2021, summer 2021, fall 2021. This is different than a "test-optional" policy adopted by institutions where you can choose whether you would like your test score considered in the admission review.
Doesn’t removing the test score mean you’re lowering the admission criteria?
No. National higher educational studies, as well as our own analysis, shows that a student’s high school GPA is a much better indicator of future academic success than performance on a standardized test. Our GPA criteria is based on years of data following students’ success and understanding which students may need additional support to achieve success.
Are there any instances where NMU will require an applicant to submit test scores?
Freshman applicants with a cumulative high school GPA of 2.25 or higher will be admitted to NMU. For students whose GPA is below 2.25, NMU will do a more thorough review of their courses and grades, the academic program selected and other information to determine whether to admit them conditionally, with a requirement that they participate in academic success programming.
Those appealing a decision may ask us to consider test scores as one of a number of factors, along with a personal statement, letters of recommendation and other information the applicant feels is relevant to their potential for academic success at NMU.
What if I want my test scores to be included in my admission review?
If you send in your test scores, we won't review them for general admission. We'll add them to your file, and note their receipt on your application checklist in case they're needed in the future. If you are appealing a decision and would like us to consider your test scores among other factors, we will do so. We will also review them for scholarship consideration.
What if my high school GPA does not meet the 2.25 criteria? What if I am doing better during my senior year?
For students whose GPA is below 2.25, NMU will do a more thorough review of their courses and grades, the academic program selected and other information to determine whether to admit them conditionally, with a requirement that they participate in academic success programming.
Those appealing a decision may ask us to consider test scores as one of a number of factors, including an updated transcript showing improvement, a personal statement, letters of recommendation, and other information the applicant feels is relevant to their potential for academic success at NMU. We will look at many factors, including academic preparation, academic performance, motivation, resilience and resourcefulness. This helps us get to know your circumstances and determine your likely ability to succeed. We may request additional materials to complete the review. Be sure to submit these as soon as possible, so we can complete the review and give you an admission decision.
I’m applying for fall 2020. Will my test scores be reviewed?
Yes. Our new test-blind policy will begin for students applying to NMU for the fall of 2021. For Fall 2020, if an applicant was unable to take the SAT or ACT due to the pandemic, we will work with students on a case-by-case basis. NMU also offers certificate and associate degrees where test scores are not used in the admissions process.
Will my test scores be considered for freshman scholarships?
Yes, but there will be some scholarships awarded based on high school GPA only.
For *2021-22, we will be transitioning from awarding all merit scholarships based on high school GPA and test scores, to offering some limited scholarships based solely on GPA. At the time of admission, we will award scholarships based on the information we have received, but we will always take new information into consideration after admission and prior to enrollment. This includes updated transcripts and test scores. It is our intent to transition further in following years. *Applicants for fall 2021, winter 2022, summer 2022.
I want to participate in an NCAA Division I or II sport at NMU. Do I need to take the ACT or SAT?
Yes. The NCAA requires you to take the SAT or ACT to determine initial eligibility for participation in a Division I or II sport (the divisions offered at NMU). When you register for the SAT or ACT, use the NCAA Eligibility Center code of 9999 so your scores are sent directly to the Eligibility Center from the testing agency. The NCAA is adapting on an on-going basis to the COVID-19 pandemic and there may be exceptions under NCAA rules for standardized test requirements.