Last edited 8:25 a.m., March 27, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic pushed up plans to move Drury University to a test-optional school for admissions.
University officials yesterday announced the policy, which allows students to be admitted to Drury without taking standardized tests such as the ACT or SAT. According to a news release, most selective universities require those test scores.
“This move is in the best interest of students for a number of reasons, but the cancellations and postponements of ACT and SAT tests nationwide because of the COVID-19 pandemic adds new urgency and makes now the right time to make this change for future Panthers,” said Kevin Kropf, executive vice president for enrollment management at Drury, in the release. “Drury’s admissions process has always placed a greater emphasis on a student’s academic record, which measures a body of work, than on standardized test scores.
“This change will solidify that perspective.”
Prospective students instead will be asked to submit an additional 250- to 500-word essay to be used as part of the scholarship award process.
Drury officials cited a 2019 decision by the state of Missouri to end funding for ACT testing statewide. Drury’s new measures are designed to help students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and rural areas qualify for admission to the Springfield university, according to the release.
The new test-optional standard goes into effect with Drury's fall 2021 academic year.
Reached via email, Kropf said he expects 15%-20% of applicants to utilize the test-optional application next year.
“We are pursuing this … more out of an equity and access perspective than an enrollment growth standpoint,” he said.
On Monday, Drury separately announced its classes would remain online through the end of the semester amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Austin, Texas-based Kendra Scott LLC made its Springfield debut; Lost Boys Barber Co. LLC relocated; and Wilson Logistics Inc. opened its corporate headquarters in Strafford.