ACT and GPA Requirements Change for First Time Student Automatic Scholarships

Though the change is meant to increase financial aid opportunity, it excludes current and transfer students

This change only applies to incoming freshman in Missouri and Kansas.

Belle Yennie, Staff Writer

  ACT and GPA requirements will change in fall 2023 for first-time college students attending UMKC. Scholarships will be determined by either ACT or GPA, instead of both, for future students to receive automatic scholarships.

  The scholarship changes will be renewable for this fall’s incoming freshman and continue for the future. The new requirement doesn’t include the alteration of scholarships for current students.

  Junior Aaliyah Monroe graduated high school with a 4.1 GPA and said they had an above-average ACT score. Though Monroe said she is upset current students who joined UMKC their freshman year won’t qualify, they believe the new change is an inclusive step. 

  “Standardized tests don’t represent intelligence,” Monroe said. “Most people I know with lower ACT scores still had a decent or high GPA, and they should have been able to get those scholarships instead of an outdated test determining [that]”

  Freshman Kennedy Laughlin is frustrated the new policy doesn’t extend to current students. Laughlin took the ACT six times hoping she could get the top automatic scholarship. Even with a high GPA, her ACT held her back. She said it hurts to know incoming students can receive more scholarship money than a current student who was held to a higher standard.

  “It’s cool that they’re helping the students coming in now, but they could’ve extended it to the students who are already here,” Laughlin said. 

  Roo Advisor and UMKC alumni Caitlin Pettman said the change can showcase academic ability differently. Though Pettman said she is happy scholarships are moving away from standardized testing, GPA is not a perfect measure of intelligence. High schools have varying rigor, and students can graduate with equivalent GPAs. However, she said she believes providing the “or” language will reduce obstacles and help students feel more confident in their educational goals. 

  “Language-wise, [it] can be a huge barrier of how you perceive your abilities, perceive your worth,” Pettman said. 

  Incoming freshmen in the schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and law will not be included in this new policy. Visit the Financial Aid and Scholarship page to see the new automatic scholarship chart. 

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