STORRS, Conn. (AP) — The University of Connecticut is trying out a new admissions policy that makes submitting standardized test scores optional for applicants.
Vern Granger, UConn’s director of undergraduate admissions, said the pilot program, announced Wednesday at a meeting of the school’s Board of Trustees, is designed to attract otherwise talented students who have trouble taking the SAT or ACT standardized tests.
“Ultimately, it is our hope this move will result in an even more diverse and inclusive applicant pool, which provide us a greater opportunity to build a community of students that reflect the breadth and depth of our institution,” Granger said.
The pilot program will begin with students applying to enter as undergraduates in fall 2021, and will continue through the following two admissions cycles.
The school is one of 70 nationwide that have announced similar policies this spring, as standardized tests have been canceled and high school students have had to transition to online learning.
Officials also presented the board with figures showing the school has issued more than $30 million in refunds of housing, dining and parking fees to students as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
UConn Health reported losing more than $100 million due to the suspension of all elective surgeries at John Dempsey Hospital.
The school said the pandemic has resulted in a $21.2 million loss on its campuses after spending freezes and federal support are taken into account.
The board is expected to be presented with a full budget for the university in June. Officials said that plan is expected to include an up to 25% cut in the subsidy to its athletic department, which needed $42 million from the school after running a deficit in 2019.
The school on Wednesday began phasing in the resumption of research on campus.
UConn President Thomas Katsouleas said he’s asking faculty to prepare for the fall semester as if classes will be conducted online. Conversely, he’s also asked administrators to prepare for possibly reopening the campus to students in the fall.