Belt 226 FBSPRINGFIELD – Starting Jan. 1, students who wish to attend an Illinois public college or university will no longer be required to submit ACT and SAT scores when applying, thanks to a law championed by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea).

“Standardized test scores do not showcase a student’s ability,” Belt said. “Students struggle each year to do well on ACT and SAT tests. Removing this requirement will help test-anxious students get into college.”

The new law, led by Belt and Representative LaToya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis), creates the Higher Education Fair Admissions Act, which prohibits Illinois’ public universities from relying solely on a student’s ACT or SAT score to make an admissions decision.

Currently, a quarter of the country’s public universities do not require standardized tests scores for admittance. Notably, the University of Chicago recently saw record enrollment of first-generation, low-income and rural students after lifting its standardized test requirement.

Admission counselors have been looking more closely at the benefits from adopting test-optional strategies. Other submissions from students, including essays, activities and academic records, bring larger and more diverse applicants to colleges and universities.

“The ACT and SAT create a barrier for underprivileged and disadvantaged students,” Belt said. “When qualified applicants are denied admittance because of a test score, high-caliber students are left out. It’s essential that we continue to protect students and give them every available opportunity to support their future.”

Starting Jan. 1, incoming college students will not be required to submit standardized test scores under Public Act 102-0054.

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