Eligible students can apply to EIU for free beginning July 1
(Charleston, IL) – Eastern Illinois University is strengthening its commitment to accessibility.
EIU leaders have announced that the university will shift to test-optional undergraduate admission for students interested in enrolling at the Charleston, Illinois-based university in fall of 2021 to further support student accessibility, opportunity, and success. In addition, merit scholarships will be made available specifically for EIU’s eligible test-optional admits, as well as those who include their test scores, under the University’s new policy. EIU’s test-optional application opens July 1, and prospective students can apply for free.
The announcement follows some national uncertainty about the availability of ACT/SAT testing as the world’s response to COVID-19 continues to evolve. When college assessment tests do resume, America’s educational leaders have questioned students’ capacity to perform well on them following such an unrivaled disruption in their junior year of high school.
“Our students are so much more than an SAT or ACT score,” said David Glassman, President of EIU. “EIU uses a variety of eligibility metrics that will continue to elevate the academic quality of our incoming students independent of those conventional assessments.”
Josh Norman, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management at EIU, also cited a variety of additional reasons for the shift.
“We don’t want any of EIU’s future applicants to feel hamstrung by circumstances far outside their control,” Norman said. “Research shows that the costs and inaccessibility of test preparation resources and courses often inhibit minority and low-income students. Providing equity in access to the superior education offered at EIU is part of our mission, and a substantive part of this shift in our Admissions processes.”
By shifting to a test-optional model, he said, EIU is working to further eliminate unnecessary and biased barriers to higher education in support of traditionally marginalized student groups.
Research also shows that academic success at the college level depends on a range of factors, with the greatest importance placed on academic preparation. Similar research suggests that high school GPA is often the best predictor of academic success in college.
Students who choose to apply to EIU as test-optional admit and have a 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale and who demonstrate successful completion of a college preparatory curriculum will be recommended for admission. Those whose GPAs are between 2.5 and 3.3 will have their applications reviewed by EIU representatives to determine eligibility for admission.
Norman added that the change to Eastern’s admission policy is reflective of the university’s desire to reduce anxiety for future EIU students and their families and prospective students unable to complete standardized tests in the weeks to come.
“We know that some groups have been more adversely affected by the pandemic and its educational repercussions,” Norman said. “EIU wants to be a proactive partner in creating additional opportunities for students who want to follow their personal and professional passions by earning a four-year degree.”
The shift to test-optional at EIU follows a national trend. Other universities in Illinois and across the nation have implemented the test-optional admission model as well.
Students interested in attending Eastern Illinois University can learn more about EIU—including its test-optional policy and related scholarship opportunities—or schedule a virtual campus visit and apply for fall 2021 admission at https://www.eiu.edu/admissions/.
EIU will begin accepting Fall 2021 applications July 1, and all prospective students can apply to EIU for free until October 15.
For more general information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at www.eiu.edu, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.