After weeks of cancellations and postponements to minimize the spread of COVID-19, high school students and parents received some answers about how standardized testing will proceed for the rest of the summer.
During a virtual conference with the Florida Board of Governors, Marshall Criser, the chancellor of the State University System of Florida, announced that standardized testing will take place in person starting this June.
The College Board, an organization that facilitates standardized tests like Advanced Placement exams, is planning to hold the SAT in person in August, September, October, November and December nationwide, Criser said.
He also announced that the ACT will be held in person June 13 and July 18 nationwide. The College Board already has plans for a regular testing schedule for through December.
Comments from viewers on the public message board during the meeting asked the board and chancellor to push back the deadlines to submit ACT and SAT scores for all students applying to undergraduate programs in the State University System
The national ACT exam originally scheduled for April 4 has been rescheduled for June 13, while the SAT tests scheduled for May 2 and June 6 were canceled.
As of Wednesday, an online petition to extend the SAT and ACT deadline for the Florida Bright Futures scholarship has 9,460 signatures.
In order to accommodate the difficulties accessing standardized testing before their application deadlines, the public comments asked the board to discuss their plans to give those students opportunities to take their exams.
Criser announced that there are plans to provide in-person testing in the coming months. He did not specify what those plans included.
A student’s GPA and scores from standardized testing like the SAT and ACT are required to apply for scholarships such as Florida Academic Scholars scholarship, also known as Bright Futures, a scholarship program offered by the state, and are determinants for how much aid they receive.
For high school seniors applying for the Florida Academic Scholars scholarship this academic year, the top scholarship covers 100 percent of tuition for four years at a state university for students with a 3.5 GPA and a score of 1330 on the SAT or 29 on the ACT, and 100 hours of community service.
The deadline to submit testing scores this application season is Dec. 15 for UF and June 30, 2021 for Bright Futures.
Ryan Yap, 17, is an incoming UF freshman who is a recipient of the Bright Futures scholarship. He will be attending classes in the fall without having to worry about the financial burden of his education on his family.
“I would not be going to UF if it wasn’t for the scholarship,” he said. “I mean for me to go and just have to pay housing, it’s so great.”
After guests commented in the chat that the testing deadlines are unfair, Criser said that he is currently working with universities to loosen the deadlines to submit standardized testing scores through the fall. He did not mention any specific plans for those universities during the meeting.
A call for public requests was made at the end of the meeting, and despite the multiple comments asking for the review of the regulation, the meeting was closed.
It is unclear whether they plan to review this issue during their next remote meeting on June 23. This meeting is set to cover a presentation of university accountability plans.