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Kennesaw State and Life universities have announced their institutions will not require SAT and ACT scores for admissions for semesters and quarters, as school closures and testing cancellations over coronavirus concerns continue.

So long as students meet KSU’s GPA admissions standards when they apply to the summer or fall 2020 semesters, an SAT or ACT test score will not be required, according to KSU.

At Life University, where students are on the quarter system, the tests will not be required for admission to upcoming spring, summer or fall 2020 quarters, a spokesperson said.

The decisions come following guidance by the University System of Georgia in response to the cancellation of spring SAT and ACT testing dates.

KSU says prospective first-year students must meet all other admission requirements, including satisfactory completion of required high school curriculum and all other requested documentation.

“This is a time for implementing flexible solutions to ensure that incoming college students are not harmed by the inability to take SAT/ACT tests,” said KSU President Pamela Whitten. “We are confident that our incoming summer and fall classes will be well-prepared to meet the academic opportunities available at Kennesaw State.”

KSU officials say enrollment counselors and advisers are available via email at ksuadmit@kennessaw.edu to answer questions related to the university’s admissions announcement.

To apply at Kennesaw State University, visit admissions.kennesaw.edu.

Marietta schools Superintendent Grant Rivera applauded the universities for applying “common sense” practices in a time of much uncertainty for students everywhere, and especially high school seniors.

“I’m grateful that they’re putting students first in this very unusual scenario,” he said. “This is not a time where we need to hold firm to strict admission criteria.”

In response to potential criticism that the canceled test requirements would devalue admission requirements or that students could have taken the tests earlier, Rivera said students were told they would have a window to test through the spring and shouldn’t be penalized for planning as such.

Cobb Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said once the College Board, the company that administers the SAT, canceled spring testing, the decision in the hands of the University System of Georgia likely became easier.

“This is a new normal. It’s uncharted territory, so I appreciate them trying to do everything they can to try to make accommodations for students that are still trying to get in to college and are about to graduate,” he said. “I think it’s the right thing to do for the circumstances.”

Cobb school board Chairman Brad Wheeler agreed with the superintendents, saying the universities made the right decision. But Wheeler also said, beyond college admissions, there will be far more educational impacts coming. He said for K-12 students, uncertainty abounds, including around how grades will be figured out while schools continue to instruct students online.

“This is going to be a mess,” Wheeler said. “There’s going to be a lot of things that colleges and high schools — and elementary and middle schools too — how are they going to proceed with this?”

Wheeler said when the snow storm in 2014 dubbed “snowmaggedon” shut down metro Atlanta, crippling services and stranding motorists, he swore it was the worst thing that had happened in decades.

“(I thought,) ‘this was the worst thing that happened in my lifetime. What could be worse than this?’ he said. “Guess what? Here it is.”

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Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas.

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