Merit scholarships art

As part of our initiative called Curious Cornhuskers, a reader asked The Daily Nebraskan, “How are merit-based scholarships being determined without an ACT score requirement on applications?"

The university has created new ways of reviewing students for merit scholarships who do not have standardized test scores, such as analyzing a student’s high school academic record and performance, according to Leslie Reed, public affairs director of the Office of University Communication. 

“The university has adapted its academic merit scholarship criteria for fall 2021 new incoming freshmen to create an additional holistic review pathway for applicants who do not have an ACT or SAT test score,” Reed said in an email.

If students do not have an ACT or SAT score when applying to UNL, they will still be considered for academic merit scholarships based on their high school academic record and performance, Reed said.   

If a student provides an ACT or SAT score when applying to UNL or after admission, the university will use the score when considering scholarships if the score will benefit the student’s eligibility, Reed said. 

The inclusion of standardized test scores will not hinder students’ ability to receive scholarships,  according to Reed. 

“We are looking for how the student best demonstrates their individual academic preparation and performance, and using their strongest credentials to make a strengths-based scholarship offer,” Reed said. 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university adapted the scholarship criteria due to disruptions in the access of standardized testing dates, according to Reed. 

Only incoming freshmen that will be starting at UNL in 2021 are eligible for the university-adapted criteria, Reed said.