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Removing Barriers to Enrollment

June 23, 2020

UMD moves to a test-optional admissions model.

Starting with spring and fall 2021 applicants, students have the choice of whether or not their ACT/SAT scores are considered for review as part of their application materials. 

UMD leaders have been assessing the benefits and challenges associated with implementation of a test-optional admission policy since February 2020 and announced the new policy to the campus community two weeks ago.

Mary Keenan, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management, lists two key goals associated with this shift:

  • to remove barriers that deter otherwise qualified students from applying for admission

  • to increase applications and enrollment of qualified underrepresented populations, including first-generation, low-income, and racially diverse populations

Keenan adds that this is in line with UMD’s strategic initiative to advance inclusiveness within the campus community. 

What Test-Optional Means

Test-optional means that applicants are reviewed in a holistic process, but students who think their ACT or SAT scores will enhance their likelihood of being admitted can still submit their scores for consideration.

“A test-optional policy should not be viewed as lowering admission standards, but rather as providing applicants with more control of how they present their credentials within the application process” explains Keenan.