If you have children who have begun the process of preparing for college, then you are most likely all too familiar with daunting tasks that come every step of the way, including the initial steps of taking the college admissions tests. And if you have a child with a 504 plan or an IEP, these processes can seem even more daunting. However, there is some good news on the horizon for these students.
As of August 2021 students with an IEP or 504 Plan will automatically be granted the accommodations listed in their 504 plan or IEP for the ACT (American College Test). This change is being implemented as of this 2021 – 2022 school year.
According to the ACT Newsroom and blog, there will be a reduction in the extensive documentation needed to qualify for accommodations. Previously, students with a 504 Plan had to go through a separate process to obtain accommodations on the ACT. Staff at the ACT noted that schools must follow a rigorous process when determining eligibility for either an Individual Education Plan (IEP) under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), or for a 504 Plan under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Automatically granting accommodations is meant to streamline the process for students who already qualify for support due to a disability.
The purpose of the change according to ACT was to “increase accessibility to the ACT test for students with disabilities”.
Parents should also take note that during the pandemic there are many universities, both public and private, that have gone to test optional admissions. There are more options for students to gain admission without the stress of taking the ACT or SAT. This is certainly good news for high school students coping with challenges related to the pandemic on a personal, social and academic level.