COVID-19 Information and Resources

Test optional alternatives available for admissions

November 5, 2020

In a press release issued recently, the South Dakota Board of Regents reminds students that they have test-optional alternatives in seeking admission to the state’s institutions. The reminder follows challenges that some students experienced in taking admissions tests during the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted test taking and created unique challenges for prospective students and families as they plan for college,” said Brian L. Maher, the regents’ executive director and CEO. Maher said current admissions’ standards at the six public universities make submitting an ACT or SAT score optional for students in the upcoming year. “

Current South Dakota Board of Regents’ policies allow students admission based on various academic criteria, including:

  • High school grade point average (GPA)
  • High school class rank
  • ACT or SAT test scores
  • Smarter Balanced test scores completed in the junior year of high school.

According to the press release, the state university admissions’ staff do recommend prospective students submit test scores if they have them, as those scores may be used for accurate course placement.