Westminster College to waive ACT/SAT requirement, guarantee scholarships for fall 2020 freshmen

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FULTON — In the wake of cancellations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Westminster College is waiving its ACT and SAT requirements for Fall 2020 applicants.

The college also announced it will guarantee merit-based scholarships of those currently affected by the COVID-19 campus closure.

College officials explained that as long as students remain in good academic standing and return to campus next fall, they will keep their merit-based scholarships. That arrangement will continue for the next four years.

The announcement follows the nationwide cancellation of the May 2 SAT, the postponement of the April 4 ACT to June 13, and campus closures throughout the United States. Westminster began online coursework through its Digital Blue Program on March 23.

President Fletch Lamkin, Ph.D., said that Westminster is determined to help all students succeed.

“We know there are many excellent applicants out there without a test score yet, and we also know students struggle in various adjustments throughout their college education,” Lamkin explained. “Relaxing the testing requirement and guaranteeing merit-based scholarships are tangible ways we can help students right now.”

Dr. Paul Orscheln, Vice President of Enrollment Services, added that the Department of Enrollment Services will instead evaluate applicants based on grade point averages and other factors. He said the decision likely could benefit students who do not test well.

“We know that many students do not fit into the traditional educational mold, so we plan to reward their hard work in high school, taking into careful consideration all aspects of their educational experiences,” Orscheln said.

Orscheln further explained that Westminster’s merit-based scholarships differ from those offered at larger public universities, where a drop in grades could mean students automatically lose their scholarships. He said, “That can be shocking for a student financially, and once a student loses a scholarship, the individual must ask, ‘What do I do now? Do I drop out?’”

The new scholarship guarantee specifically might help freshmen whose grades dip slightly while adjusting to college.

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