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A-State to Utilize ACT 'Superscores' for Fall 2018


JONESBORO – For the upcoming academic year, Arkansas State University will utilize the “superscore” method for ACT scores for the majority of incoming student admissions and institutional scholarships, Chancellor Kelly Damphousse announced today.

“Using the superscore for determining a student’s ACT puts Arkansas State in line with peer universities and it is the common practice across the state of Arkansas,” Damphousse said.  “We had been denying access to students based on a strict interpretation of ACT scores that our peers have not been using.  We believe this will create greater access to our university.”

The “superscore” is the composition of a student’s best subscores, regardless of test date on the ACT.  Most of Arkansas State’s institutional scholarships have an ACT component, and accepting the superscore for the majority of these scholarships will provide additional support to students and their families who choose to attend A-State.

“Something we have discovered is many of the students who did not score a 19 on a single ACT testing date had high GPAs, some that met the standard for unconditional admission,” Damphousse said.  “Allowing students to combine their ACT efforts negates the impact of one bad testing day or testing section and may provide a better picture of the overall individual.”

In the state of Arkansas, institutions ranging from Hendrix College to the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, utilize the superscore method.  According to The Princeton Review, it is also used by more than 200 private and public universities nationwide.

High school counselors in the region were notified yesterday of the change, and an important additional notice that the December ACT will be eligible for use in the superscore.  Word was shared with counselors early because the deadline for regular registration for next month’s ACT session is Friday, Nov. 3.

“Looking at our data, we saw a number of students, particularly here in our home region of Northeast Arkansas and the upper Delta, who were not able to attend Arkansas State because of our strict interpretation of ACT scores,” Damphousse said. 

Damphousse stressed that enhanced recruiting efforts and new initiatives have A-State currently ahead of previous years for both admissions and acceptances.

“I do not want this decision to place our procedures in line with other universities in the area to be seen as an effort to simply increase enrollment,” he said.  “While I know it’s anecdotal, we had a high school valedictorian last year with a high GPA in our local area unable to enroll.  With the superscore, they would be here at the university they wanted.  Service to our home region is an important part of our mission.”

For Arkansas State, the current admission standards are a 21 ACT and a 2.75 high school grade point average for unconditional admission.  A 19 ACT and 2.30 GPA are required for conditional admission.

The change in method does not apply to the A-State Scholar competition nor the Honors College admission criteria, which is also consistent with other honors or scholars programs across the region.