Washburn Univ. drops ACT, SAT scores as scholarship requirement

The university will no longer consider ACT or SAT scores and instead will base awards on a student’s high school grade point average (GPA). They said qualifying
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 8:31 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Washburn University is changing its requirement for incoming students to qualify for merit scholarships.

The university will no longer consider ACT or SAT scores and instead will base awards on a student’s high school grade point average (GPA). They said qualifying GPA’s begin at 3.0.

“These new scholarships are designed to help students and their families choose Washburn with the knowledge that a great education is also affordable,” said Dr. Alan Bearman, Interim Executive Director of Enrollment Management and Dean of the Center for Student Success and Retention at Washburn University.

The university said merit scholarships are renewable and range from $4,000 to $20,000 during a four-year span.

“We are committed to equitable access and success. The focus of our new scholarship model is on a high school GPA and not the ACT because it is not a holistic representation of a student’s potential,” said Bearman.

This new approach by Washburn joins a nationwide trend in higher education that was sparked by the pandemic.

The university said critics claim the tests are unfair to minority and low-income students and during COVID, many students found it extremely challenging to access the testing as most standardized testing centers either shut down or greatly limited their availability.

“If you’re from a low-income family you can’t afford that test. If you’re a first-generation student, first person in your family to think about going to college you don’t even know the preparation class exists, so this is about leveling the playing field for all of our students by rewarding their excellent high school performance,” says Dr. Bearman.

Washburn is also launching a zero textbook costs (ZTC) initiative, they say it will save students more than $400,000 this semester alone. To learn more about the ZTC initiative click here.