OU to implement test-optional admissions policy for next 5 years

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University of Oklahoma. Photo by Robert H. Taylor

NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – The University of Oklahoma is implementing a test-optional admissions process for the next five years.

OU is the first university in Oklahoma to adopt a multi-year test-optional undergraduate admissions policy, according to a news release issued by the university on Tuesday.

The submission of standardized tests, such as the ACT and SAT, are now optional when applying for admission to OU, according to the news release.

“Looking to the future, we view operating as a test-optional institution as a necessary and important move to increasing access to the state’s flagship institution, and this pilot program allows for that consideration,” said Jeff Blahnik, senior associate vice president for the Division of Enrollment Management and executive director for the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. “Test scores can be a helpful tool in determining readiness, but they are not the only measure that projects that. Through our holistic admissions process, we are looking for proven academic excellence and for students who demonstrate grit, perseverance and a passion to make a positive impact on the world.”

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education authorized OU administrators to implement the new policy through the 2025 admissions cycle, the news release states.

OU administrators announced in July a test-optional admissions process for students applying to the university for the spring and fall 2021 semesters.

That decision came after the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education issued guidance that recognizes COVID-19’s impact on student access to standardized testing.

OU has utilized a holistic admissions process since 2012, which evaluates prospective students on the following four components: academic rigor and performance, activities and engagement, personal essay and letter(s) of recommendation.

The university will not have to rely on test scores when making admission decisions over the next five years.

However, OU administrators still encourage student applicants to submit test scores because scores allow for accurate course placement and, in some case, also improve a student’s opportunity to gain admission and scholarship.

“Test scores can also maximize scholarship opportunities, but OU will consider students for scholarships holistically as well,” the news release states.

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