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Test-Optional Application Process FAQs


An SAT or ACT score will not be required for applicants who wish to be considered for any term up to and including spring 2023. Students who submit their application and indicate the test-optional path will not have their test scores considered as a part of the admission review process.

We have prepared the following information to address common questions; however, we encourage you to contact the Office of Admissions at with any additional questions you have regarding the application process.

Why is UW-Eau Claire temporarily not requiring standardized test scores?

We recognize that changes to test availability and testing environments due to the COVID-19 pandemic leave many students with inequitable access to standardized tests. The UW System Board of Regents Resolution 11430 (adopted May 7, 2020) states, “That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, the Board temporarily suspends the requirement in Regent Policy Document 7-3, Sections I.C. and II.B. that all freshman applicants provide an ACT or SAT score as part of their application. The suspension of this requirement applies to all freshman applications to UW System campuses, except applications to UW-Madison, for the 2020-2021 academic year and the 2021-2022 academic year.”

Resolution D (approved February 4, 2021) states, “This action extends the suspension for all other UW System campuses through the 2022-2023 academic year. The last term that students would be able to opt out of submitting an ACT/SAT score would be spring 2023.”

Does this apply to the Barron County campus?

As an open-access institution, test scores are not required for an admission decision to UWEC – Barron County. However, we encourage taking and submitting test scores to increase access to four-year universities, programs, and scholarships should students choose to transfer in the future.

Why would students submit standardized test scores if they don’t have to?

Students may decide that including their scores will give a more complete picture of their academic achievements and potential. UW-Eau Claire encourages submitting test scores: In most cases the test score will positively impact a decision rather than negatively impact a decision.

Our goal when reviewing an application is to understand more fully who the applicant is and how likely they are to be academically successful. In addition to providing a more complete academic picture, test scores are contributing factors for the assignment of student success programs, pre-requisite requirements, and scholarship consideration.

We do not have a formula for whether or not students should choose to have their test scores considered as part of the admission process. Ultimately, it is up to each student to decide if the test score is an accurate and relevant representation of their academic strength and ability.

What do you recommend if a student has not taken or will not take a standardized test before applying?

Test scores are not required, and we understand that test centers have cancelled scheduled exams. If students feel their academic record does not reflect their academic ability, they may wish to take and send test scores.

How will UW-Eau Claire evaluate students who do not choose to have their test scores considered as a part of their application?

We have always taken a holistic approach to evaluating students for admission. In the absence of a test score, we will continue to look at all factors on the application holistically, including the completion of a core curriculum that includes English, math, science, social studies, and various electives; grades earned; a student’s decision to take rigorous coursework such as AP, honors, or dual credit where it is offered; application essay; extracurricular activities; and other achievements.

If students apply without test scores, can they still apply and be considered for scholarships?

Students can still apply for scholarships without test scores. However, merit-based scholarships may consider test scores. If a test-optional applicant takes the ACT or SAT and becomes scholarship eligible after the point of admission and prior to February 1, they should contact the Admissions Office at and send their official test scores.

Note: Scholarship eligibility is met by attaining an ACT Composite of 25 or greater (or SAT Total of 1200 or greater) and ranking in the top 25% of the class (or if rank is unavailable, a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale). Students applying for fall 2021 who are unable to take the ACT or SAT prior to February 1 due to COVID-19 can be considered for scholarships with a 3.75 unweighted GPA.

Are there instances where test scores are considered?

Even though test scores are not required for admission to the university, there are instances where test scores are considered for admission to programs, pre-requisites, scholarships, etc.

  • Consideration for most merit-based scholarships.
  • Consideration for admission to some programs, including Nursing. (Please note that the Nursing program has a competitive admission process, and admission to UW-Eau Claire does not guarantee admission to the Nursing program.)
  • Admission consideration for students who have been homeschooled or who have attended a school that uses non-traditional evaluation methods and does not assign alpha or numerical grades.
  • Automatic admission into the University Honors Program.
  • Pre-requisite fulfillment of some courses, including (but not limited to) math and English, in the absence of placement scores.
  • Proof of English proficiency for international students (see other methods of demonstrating English proficiency here).

How do students indicate that they’d like to apply as a test-optional applicant?

New applicants for fall 2020 should contact the Admissions Office at to indicate if they would like to apply test-optional. Applicants for fall 2021 will be able to tell us on the application whether they want their test score to be included or excluded from the admission review process. Students will be able to select from the following options:

  • Yes, consider my ACT or SAT scores for admission.
    This answer indicates to us that the student has or will be sending their test scores and would like them reviewed as part of their application.
  • No, do not consider my ACT or SAT scores for admission.
    This answer indicates to us that the student wants to apply test-optional and does NOT want their test scores reviewed as part of their application.
  • I am not sure what I am going to do yet when it comes to submitting an ACT or SAT score (option on UW System application)
    Students who select this option will be treated as test-optional and will NOT have their test scores reviewed as part of their application. We recommend that students consider their options prior to submitting their application and respond “Yes” or “No” instead.

If students are unsure how to answer this question, we recommend reviewing the remaining FAQs on this page and then contacting the Admissions Office at if they are still unsure how to proceed.

What if students change their mind about how they want their application reviewed?

We encourage students to consider their decision carefully before submitting their application. However, if an admission decision has not yet been made on a student’s application, we will be able to accommodate changes to their preference to have their test score included or excluded from the admission review process. Students can contact the admissions office at if they would like to change their option.

What if students would like to apply test-optional but scores have already been sent from a testing agency or included on transcripts?

If students indicate on their application that they do not want their test scores considered, their test scores will not be included as part of the application review regardless of whether they have been sent to us from a testing agency or included on transcripts.

If students choose to send in scores, do they have to be official scores for application review?

Students who choose to submit ACT or SAT scores may share either official or self-reported scores. We permit students to self-report test scores through the UWEC-specific application or through their MyBlugold CampS portal after activating their UWEC account. Students will be required to submit official ACT or SAT score results before the first day of classes if they supplied self-reported scores and did not choose to apply test-optional.

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