ACT scores dropping in Michigan

This is the first time since 1991 ACT scores were below 20
Michigan students averaged 25.1 out of 36 last year, then it dropped to 24.6 this year.
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It used to be to get into a good college you needed a great ACT score.

Now students are getting lower scores across the country, including here in Michigan.

Michigan students averaged 25.1 out of 36 in 2021, then it dropped to 24.6 this year. That’s still above the national average which is 19.8.

This is the first time since 1991 ACT scores were below 20. Parents said they don’t think these lower scores mean much for students.

“Our teenagers have been through so much the last three years,” said Elizabeth Johnson.

Johnson’s daughter graduated last year and didn’t take the ACT in high school. She’s not surprised scores are dropping.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of value in them. Sometimes it can be good if your child is a great test taker, then that could provide some information that a college might not have,” said Johnson.

Harry Feder runs a group that’s trying to get rid of college entrance exams.

He said he isn’t worried about the lower scores because fewer kids are taking the test.

“So to think that the drop in the ACT scores actually means we have this crisis it’s not so,” said Feder.

You can see that change in Michigan. The ACT said more than 115,454 students in Michigan took the test in 2016, which was the last year the state paid for it.

This year, 8,487 Michigan students took the ACT.

“The entire testing pool has changed from 2016 and certainly from 1990,” said Feder.

Fair Test has been advocating against college entrance exams for years and colleges are noticing, including in Michigan.

Feder said fewer of them are requiring the ACT or SAT to get in.

“The trend of course began before COVID but has become a tsunami post-COVID as colleges didn’t have it for a while,” said Feder.

Johnson said not having to take the ACT or SAT tests will open doors for students.

“They might apply to a college they would’ve avoided thinking ‘Oh I don’t have the scores to get in’ but if that score is taken out of the equation, they might give that school a chance,” said Johnson.

The average SAT score also dropped 10 points to 1050 this year.

At least 43 schools in Michigan do not require ACT or SAT scores in order for a student to be admitted.

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