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College Entrance Exams: They Still Matter College 

College Entrance Exams: They Still Matter

Even before the pandemic, many schools were making the SAT and ACT optional. The reason? Concern that the exams weren’t accessible or affordable enough for low-income students, and a growing body of evidence that high school grades, activities and other achievements are better predictors of college success. Then the pandemic struck, forcing cancellation of the exams and causing even more schools to stop requiring them—at least temporarily.

Now that the tests are being administered again, many schools still require them as part of your college application. It’s best to take at least one of the exams. If you do well, your score can help you win acceptance at your preferred school. As for cost, students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch can take the SAT and ACT for free. Ask your school counselor for more information.

Find more information about the exams and how to sign up
(and get emailed reminders about dates and deadlines) at
collegeboard.org and ACT.org.   

Remember: 21st Century Scholars must take either the SAT or
ACT to meet program requirements. 

SAT Anticipated dates. Check the college board website for registration and late registration dates. (Those dates usually fall in the month before the exam.) Talk to your school counselor for test locations and more information.


2021–2022 SAT

Learn more about the SAT at collegeboard.org

Test DateRegistration DeadlineLate Registration Deadline
August 28, 2021July 30, 2021August 17, 2021
October 2, 2021September 3, 2021September 21, 2021
November 6, 2021October 8, 2021October 26, 2021
December 4, 2021November 4, 2021November 23, 2021
March 12, 2022February 11, 2022March 1, 2022
May 7, 2022April 8, 2022April 26, 2022
June 4, 2022May 5, 2022May 25, 2022

2021–2022 ACT

Learn more about the ACT at act.org.

Test DateRegistration Deadline(Late Fee Required)
September 11, 2021August 6, 2021August 20, 2021
October 23, 2021September 17, 2021October 1, 2021
December 11, 2021November 5, 2021November 19, 2021
February 12, 2022January 7, 2022January 21, 2022
April 2, 2022February 25, 2022March 11, 2022
June 11, 2022May 6, 2022May 20, 2022
July 16, 2022June 17, 2022June 24, 2022

William “Will” Akins, 25

Hometown: Merrillville, Indiana

College Choice: My first college was Vincennes University, and it was a great experience. I was not the most successful student in high school. I had a 2.4 GPA. Vincennes proved to really be the university I needed to make that transition from high school to college. Vincennes is a junior college, but I got the feeling of going away to a “big school.”

After my time at VU, I transferred to Indiana State University in Terre Haute. The transition fully immersed me in a music education degree program. 


Ally Bacon, 22

Hometown: Fishers, Indiana

How did you choose your school? I thought I wanted to go out of state, but IU’s beautiful campus and town helped me change my mind. And the thought of being too far away from family killed me. IU is the best of both worlds. It’s only an hour-and-a-half drive from my hometown, but it is still far enough away that I can have my own space and freedom from my parents.

Best advice: My recommendation for any incoming freshman is to investigate and take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you. In addition, networking is absolutely key to success. Meet as many people as possible.


Connor Mullett, 24

Hometown: Westfield, Indiana

College alternatives: In today’s market, there are more options than just college. Apprenticeships will hire on immediately for great pay. You can be an elevator mechanic, a plumber, or an electrician, all of which are viable careers and are in demand. 


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