JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

State Scholar Candidates Must Take Standardized College Exam – Alert Your Junior Students


As conversations are taking place around the topic of the use of college entrance exams – including the passage of P.A. 102-0054, which, effective January 1, 2022, prohibits Illinois' public institutions from requiring the submission of student test scores as part of the admissions process – we'd like to take this opportunity to remind high school counselors of State Scholar Program eligibility requirements and how they impact your students.

Regardless of whether Illinois colleges use standardized test scores in their admissions decisions, your junior students who are potential State Scholar candidates will still need to take one of the accepted exams during the specified timeframe to be considered for State Scholar designation.

According to ISAC rules, one of the program eligibility requirements is that a student must take either the ACT or SAT exam between August 1 and June 30 during the third and fourth semester prior to high school graduation (typically the student's junior year). For 2023-24 State Scholars (students who will be college freshmen in the fall of 2023), those tests need to be completed between August 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

Because this issue has generated questions, and knowing your students' families may be starting to make decisions about whether and when to take the exam(s), we've prepared a short template that can be used to communicate with your students. The below language can be used as is or can be adapted to better fit the needs of your school.

Template for communication with students

Welcome back to school! With the start of your junior year, one of the opportunities available to you is the chance to be considered for State Scholar designation. The State Scholar Program recognizes students for outstanding academic achievement and is a prestigious honorary award for your academic resume. Approximately the top ten percent of graduates from Illinois high schools are announced as State Scholars each year.

Even though some colleges do not require an SAT or ACT exam for admission, the exam is required if you want to be considered as a State Scholar. You don't need to complete an application for the State Scholar Program – selection is based on a combination of your SAT or ACT exam scores and your sixth semester class rank. Exams need to be taken between now and June 30, 2022 to be considered for the designation, so start thinking about scheduling yours.

See the staff in the ____________ office to get more information about the State Scholar Program and this year's SAT and ACT exams.

You are receiving this message because you registered for ISAC's e-Messaging service through one or more subscription groups for Counselors.

If you have any questions regarding this e-Message, please contact ISAC's School Services Department by calling toll free at 866.247.2172 or sending an e-mail message to [email protected].