UNC System changes admission requirements, announces prorated refund plan in the works 

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Moss Brennan, Political Editor

The UNC System changed its enrollment requirements for students applying to a UNC System school due to the coronavirus postponing or canceling SAT and ACT testing. 

Each UNC System university can choose to admit students with a minimum 2.5 weighted high school GPA, a combined SAT score of 1010 or an ACT of 19. 

Admission offices can admit an applicant based on GPA alone, but students must still submit a standardized test score with an application unless they qualify for an exemption. 

The policy will be in effect for the three years before it can go up for discussion. The Board of Governors approved the change in a special meeting via phone call on Monday. 

Some members of the BOG argued the change would bring students who are not prepared for college to campuses. 

“For you to obtain a 2.5 GPA in high school is to be an extremely, extremely poor student and to allow ourselves to drop down to that level even during this crisis, I would just be totally opposed to that,” Thomas Goolsby said.

Other board members argued that a policy change this big should not be made over the phone, but in person, where debate could be more structured. 

Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Karrie Dixon spoke at the meeting and said the university had to deny someone who had a 4.0 GPA because they did not have the minimum standardized test scores. 

“When you think of the situation we are in now, there are a significant number of students out there waiting to take the ACT and SAT…they’re at a disadvantage now because tests have been canceled,” Dixon said. “And what we don’t want to do is create barriers where these students do not have access to a singular university, more specifically the UNC System, because of the situation of the pandemic.”

The College Board canceled SAT exams scheduled for March and May. ACT rescheduled its exams from April to June. 

The policy change passed, and three board members voted against. 

UNC System Interim President Bill Roper also gave an update on refunds for housing and meal plans.

He said the UNC System plans to offer students who have paid for housing or meal plans a prorated refund. The refund will vary across the system as each cost is different. No final plan has been announced as of the publication of this article. 

In an email to students, App State said “We will send additional information about the issuance of these refunds to students, parents, faculty and staff as soon as we have further information and guidance from the System.” 

The school also directed students in need of emergency funds to apply for Mountaineer Emergency Fund grants

Roper said he would like to have the checks in parents’ and students’ hands in three weeks. 

Currently, 3,264 students are living on UNC System campuses.  That number was 65,000.