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OU Office of Admissions & Recruitment Updates

Below are some changes the University of Oklahoma is making as an institution. Some of these are temporary changes as we respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation, and others are permanent admissions cycle changes that we will implement for next year’s class of seniors.

Admissions Decisions
Effective for students applying for the fall 2021 through fall 2025 semesters, submitting scores from the ACT or SAT is now optional for admission. At the time of application, students will share their plans regarding the submission or consideration of ACT or SAT as part of their application. 

All students will have their application evaluated in a holistic manner. The University of Oklahoma considers four parts to a student’s application: academic rigor and performance, engagement, essay, and letters of recommendation.

If students apply test-optional, their high school transcript will be the primary criteria for determining academic preparedness for OU. Please note: Students who had only pass/fail or similar grading options during the spring 2020 term will not be penalized.

Many students will still provide scores and will be able to self-report their scores at the time of application. Students who submit a test score will be considered in OU’s holistic admission process, which considers several factors that predict academic success. Students who submit self-reported scores will need to have them verified before the point of enrollment at OU. Providing a test score allows for accurate course placement and maximizes a student's opportunity for scholarships at OU.  In some cases it also could improve the opportunity to gain admission. We encourage students to review these FAQs as they determine whether to submit test scores or not. 

Scholarship Consideration
The University of Oklahoma will consider students for scholarships holistically. Effective for students applying for fall 2021 through fall 2025, while test scores are not required for scholarship consideration, they are encouraged. To ensure the highest scholarship and to guarantee the fastest notification of an award, students are encouraged to submit an ACT or SAT score. Students can send updated test scores through April 30 to be considered for a higher scholarship amount.

Information about the 2021 scholarship levels is now available. We encourage all students to file the FAFSA to maximize overall aid offering.

For consideration for our highly selective academic, nomination-based awards, we encourage students to submit a test score. If extenuating circumstances with regard to access to testing exist, we will evaluate on a case by case basis. To receive the Oklahoma State Regents’ Academic Scholars Program Award or Institutional Nominee scholarship from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, a student must have a test score on file.

The OU Admissions & Recruitment is doing everything in our power to take responsible action to limit the spread of COVID-19 without sacrificing the quality of support we provide to prospective students. We continue to adjust our strategy as the situation evolves. 

We have limited campus tours to high school seniors and transfer students planning to attend OU for the fall 2021 semester. Tours are open for registration now. Tour dates will be added throughout the semester to ensure our plan to welcome guests to campus stays up-to-date. 

Students can connect with us virtually at

The below changes to our timeline and process will affect all future applicants, starting with the incoming freshman class of 2021.

Early Action Admission Deadline - Nov. 1

  • We are adding an early action admission deadline of Nov. 1. Students must have submitted their application by this date to be considered for the benefits of early action, including priority admission, merit-based scholarships, financial aid, and earlier access to housing, just to name a few.
  • We are aware of the potential strain this earlier deadline could add to students, particularly as it relates to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and its potential impact on the next recruitment cycle, but we are encouraging students to submit their applications early so they can make educated decisions about their college options earlier in the process. We will still consider students for scholarships and admission after this date.
  • Dec. 15 will remain our final scholarship deadline, while Feb. 1 is the final day to apply for admission.
  • Our freshman admission application for fall 2021 will still open on Aug. 1!

ACT Testing Updates

  • Starting in September 2020, students will be able to take single subsection exams of the ACT. Additionally, ACT will begin providing colleges and universities with blended superscores that include the highest subsections taken by individual students.
  • We will use superscoring for admission and scholarship decisions and will retroactively superscore exams for students entering OU as freshmen in fall 2021 all the way back to tests taken in September 2016. We will share more information at a later day about how this change applies to students who take the residual exam.
  • ACT will be providing more fee waivers for students who qualify to send their scores in to colleges and universities.
  • We're working with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education to clarify how we will handle SAT scores for admission and scholarship purposes

Self-Reported Test Scores

  • We will now use self-reported test scores when evaluating students for admission. This will enable students to have both an admission decision and scholarship information sooner.
  • In order for a student to enroll at OU for classes, they must have an official, verified score. Most students will simply send in scores from the testing agency, and the easiest way to do this is to indicate they want to send their score to OU when they sign up for the ACT or SAT.
  • Ultimately, in most cases we want students to self-report on the application and verify through the testing agency. All scores must be verified before the student's enrollment.