WOU stops requiring the ACT or SAT

Photo of Western Oregon University campus

Students applying for admission to Western Oregon University will no longer be required to submit an ACT or SAT test score. This change goes into effect for fall 2017 applicants with a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or higher and who have successfully passed the required college prep high school courses.

“Our admission requirements are now better aligned with our role as public university with a strong commitment to access,” Rob Findtner, director of admissions, said. “This change is designed to help us extend our access priority while also ensuring admitted students are prepared to succeed in the classroom.”

ACT and SAT scores will be used in some scholarship competitions, the Honors Program and for students who have a cumulative GPA below 3.0 or did not complete the required number of college preparation courses in high school. Transfer students are not required to submit test scores.

“Our retention and student success data revealed that ACT and SAT test scores had no relationship to student success at WOU. As many other colleges and universities have determined, the most effective predictor of student success is the high school GPA and courses taken. We believe eliminating the test requirements will open the door to college for more students who are already prepared to succeed. The cost of the exams, optional test-preparation courses, and very real levels of testing stress and anxiety are barriers to access and run counter to our mission and institutional priorities” David McDonald, associate provost, said.

The university has also revised its President’s Scholarship requirements to match the move to being test optional. Students who have excelled in high school will be able to receive a President’s Scholarship without a test score. Students who have high GPA’s and submit optional test scores may receive higher awards, if their test scores are sufficiently high.