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UConn making changes to application process amid pandemic, nixes SAT score requirement

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STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — The University of Connecticut (UConn) is making changes to its admission process, including an upcoming vote on a tuition cut and nixing the SAT score requirement.

The board of trustees is expected to vote Wednesday on a tuition cut. That is just one of many changes – like an outdoor ice rink, giving students a way to have fun while socially distancing. But one of the most significant changes is that the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) will not be required this year for incoming students to apply.

RELATED: UConn plans to trim planned tuition hike, citing COVID pandemic

“The SAT has not been top of mind when you’re trying to keep your family safe and your kids healthy,” UConn Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz explained.

UConn is now test-optional. For the next three years, they will not require the SAT scores to apply.

“It’s hard to get a pre-SAT test time; it’s hard sometimes to get time to take the SAT,” Reitz said, “There may be opportunities to do it then all of a sudden it shuts down because there’s a COVID scare.”

“COVID put a lot of students under stress, and there were definitely a lot of setbacks considering, you know, distance-learning, so it’s definitely a good idea,” UConn student, Angel Estrada, told News 8 Tuesday.

UConn said it had been considering going test-optional before COVID-19 because not all people test well or have access to prep classes, but the virus accelerated the timeline.

“We really want to look at what they have done academically, what they have done in their communities, or elsewhere in terms of activism, and what they feel they can bring to UConn and more importantly what they feel they can get from UConn,” Reitz said.

All of these changes are targeted to help bump enrollment especially as COVID has cut back the numbers on campus by more than half.

On Monday, the acceptance letters will be mailed out to students across the country who applied to UConn. And UConn said its enrollment trends are actually on an upward path. Despite COVID and the unknown of what next fall may look like, many people are staying the course and choosing UConn

UConn officials said they have multiple options and plans at the ready depending on what the virus does.

“For instance, if we are able to go back to some sort of regular in-person classes to the degree before the pandemic that would be great,” Reitz said. “I don’t know that anybody believes that is really realistic because we don’t know how this virus is going to change, and how it’s going to continue to spread.”

The board of trustees is expected to vote Wednesday on the cut to the tuition hike.

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