New Bill would give HS Juniors choice between ACT and SAT

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House of Representatives has approved legislation to provide ACT test to high school juniors who wish to take it, and the bill now goes before the Illinois State Senate.

In late 2015, the State Board of Education announced that it would stop offering the ACT in Illinois schools and would instead provide juniors with the SAT as the examination for college application and admissions purposes.

House Bill 4362, introduced by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria), would give each student the option to take either the ACT or SAT without having to pay for it. The State Board of Education would pay for each student to take either one, as subject to state appropriations for a college entrance exam.

Bill co-sponsor Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) says the ACT has been the preferred college entrance exam for years, and he believes it is important to provide it as an option.

Currently, the State Board provides each student the opportunity to take one college-readiness exam. They allot just over $5 per student, or about $450,000 annually, through a contract with the SAT to provide those exams. Students do not pay to take the SAT.

Under the current law, students who choose to take the ACT exam on their own have to pay around $39 to $57 per test. This new legislation would remove that fee.

The bill was approved by the Illinois House of Representatives on April 21. It now awaits approval by the Illinois State Senate. Further information about the bill can be found here.

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