NMU's admission policy is test-free (test-blind). This policy is now in effect and starts with winter 2021 and for all future semesters.
Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the test-free policy:
Why did NMU adopt a test-free admission policy?
NMU's admission policies have always been shaped to serve our mission of providing access and fostering student success. We ask: what are the indicators from applicants' history that best predict success at NMU? It is appropriate to re-examine this question periodically.
During the fall 2019 semester, we undertook a large study looking at six years of NMU students' academic history. We were preparing a recommendation to remove standardized test scores from consideration when the pandemic hit and barriers to standardized testing ensued.
Statistical evidence from national sources and our own NMU analyses indicate that high school grade-point average, not SAT/ACT scores, is the most reliable gauge of how students will perform in college. NMU leaders quickly approved a temporary test-blind policy in response to the pandemic, and in fall 2020, we completed the formal proposal and approval process to make this test-free policy permanent.
What does test-free mean? Is it the same as test-blind or test-optional?
Does 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 so you know we have received them. If you are appealing a deny decision and would like us to consider your test scores among other factors, we will do so. They will be on file in case there are other purposes for consideration such as for certain scholarships or for course placement.
If NMU sees my test scores - say they're on my high school transcript - and they are not great, will that negatively impact the admission decision?
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 deny 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.
Will I need to submit my test scores to be considered for merit scholarships?
For new first-year/freshmen entering in Fall 2021, Winter 2022, or Summer 2022, we will offer some freshman scholarships based on high school GPA only, as well as scholarships that use both GPA and test scores as factors.
For new first-year/freshmen entering in Fall 2022, Winter 2023, or Summer 2023, we will automatically award freshman scholarships based on high school GPA only.
Will my test scores be considered for freshman scholarships?
For 2021-22: 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. *Applicants for Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Summer 2022.
For 2022-23: No. For new first-year/freshmen entering in Fall 2022, Winter 2023, or Summer 2023, we will automatically award freshman scholarships based on high school GPA only. 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 received prior to the first day of semester of initial enrollment.
I want to participate in an NCAA Division I or II sport at NMU. Do I need to take the ACT or SAT?
Yes. As of this writing, the NCAA (if you intend to enroll by 2023) does not require 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). This policy will be reevaluated in the future. 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 changes to the NCAA rules for standardized test requirements.
Will I need to complete additional math placement testing if I do not submit test scores?
Not at this time. Prior to attending orientation, students will be contacted by the NMU Orientation office with information on how to complete the ALEKS Math Placement test. This test will be online and unproctored, and will potentially allow students to be in the courses that they may need for their major. More information about your specific placement or additional testing opportunities will be provided by your adviser during orientation. If you have questions about math placement, please contact the Academic and Career Advisement Center at 906-227-2971 or firstname.lastname@example.org.