Students wanting to enroll at Northern Kentucky University in the fall don't have to worry about taking an admissions test.
NKU will not require students to submit an ACT or SAT score to be considered for enrollment next school year. Instead, the tests will be optional. The policy is something Ohio universities, including Xavier, have already taken in order to expand access and get a more comprehensive look at applicants.
"It was something we were considering anyway as a part of our strategic framework on success by design," University President Ashish Vaidya says. He says the intent behind making testing optional is to improve access.
A National Association for College Admission Counseling study shows institutions that adopted a well-executed test-optional policy saw an increase in all applications and an increase in underrepresented college populations.
NKU has also extended its scholarship deadline to June 1 and created virtual tours to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaidya was one of five university presidents who sat on a panel discussing the current state of higher education and what the future post pandemic may entail. Many said financial investment was what their schools need to meet community and economic demand post-pandemic.
State funding for Commonwealth post-secondary schools has continued to fall behind since 2008. "Higher education not only is an engine for economic mobility but it also is one that protects from downward mobility," Vaidya says.
Pew Research shows people that attain higher educational degrees get some benefits during economic downturns.