Early last week, ACT contacted colleges to let them know that official score reports could be delayed for both the September and October test dates. These delays had the potential of forcing students to miss deadlines for early admission consideration.
In their communication, ACT indicated that the “vast majority”—85 percent—of September national ACT scores had been reported. But for students who took the ACT with the optional writing test, scoring and reporting of results is taking longer because of changes in the scoring rubric.
Without making any promises, ACT suggested that all results should be reported within the eight week time frame communicated on the ACT website. For the October test, this would give them until about December 18 to report results—about when many early decisions are communicated to students. But in those situations in which deadlines might not be met, ACT offered the following:
ACT urges colleges to consider accepting screenshots of the student’s September multiple-choice scores from their official ACT student account as a provisional measure, if application deadlines are nearing, until official scores are sent. We will encourage students facing deadlines to send a copy of the email they receive from ACT, along with a screenshot of their ACT multiple-choice test scores, to any applicable colleges to verify that they are among the students impacted by this situation.”
No offer was made to send partial reports, without the writing score.
To deal with the problem of late ACT score reports, colleges are beginning to post policies. Here is a sample of the many different ways various institutions have approached the situation (note that these instructions are subject to change and applicants should check directly with the colleges for the most current updates):
Boston College, MA
“ACT has notified us that delivery of scores this year will be delayed due to their implementation of an enhanced design to the Writing portion of the test. While we will make every effort to include October results in our evaluation of Early Action applications, it is unlikely that they will arrive in time to be considered. Students should designate Boston College as a recipient of these results on or before the day they take the exam to ensure swiftest possible delivery to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.”
Brown University, RI
“Brown is aware that scoring of some of the writing tests for the September administration of the ACT has been delayed. This has impeded the release of the full scores for that test cycle. The Office of College Admission expects to receive the delayed scores in time for Early Decision deliberations. We will contact applicants with updated instructions in the coming weeks if circumstances warrant.”
Columbia University, NY
“If you are an Early Decision applicant and your ACT scores from the September or October testing date have been delayed, we will accept a screenshot of your results. Please forward your score results to firstname.lastname@example.org. Official scores are required once they become available.”
Harvard University, MA
“ACT has announced a delay in reporting September ACT test scores. Please do not worry! We understand that those scores will be available by November 1 or soon thereafter. You need not send us a screenshot of your scores or your registration. If necessary, we will contact applicants with updated instructions. In addition, we are aware of delays in the administration of ACT examinations in Texas due to the recent storm. We hope to have those test scores as well in advance of Early Action decisions. Otherwise, we will communicate with applicants when we have more information.”
Loyola Marymount University, CA
“Students applying Early Action to Loyola Marymount University for the Fall 2016 semester should not be concerned about ACT’s recent announcement; however, it will require an extra step to ensure that all scores are received.
If you took the ACT during this time period and scores will not be available until November, LMU will accept screen shots of all ACT scores (that includes the name of the applicant visible in the screen shot), with the exception of the writing section. Future Lions can find their test scores on the ACT website, take an image, and email copies to email@example.com. Official test scores will still need to be submitted to LMU when they are available from ACT.”
The Ohio State University, OH
“We are aware that scoring for the September 12, 2015, ACT may be delayed by ACT and your scores may not arrive in time to meet our November 1 priority deadline. Please be assured that scores from this test date that arrive after November 1 will be considered “on time” if the delay was due to this issue. Please do not send unofficial score sheets. Direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Pomona College, CA
“The Office of Admissions at Pomona College is aware that some students applying for either the QuestBridge College Match or for Early Decision I may be impacted by ACT’s recent announcement that some score reports will be delayed.
This delay only affects a small percentage of students who took the September administration of the ACT with writing. If you are concerned that your score report may be delayed, please send a copy of the email you receive from ACT, along with a screenshot of your ACT multiple-choice test scores from your official ACT student account directly to email@example.com if you are applying Early Decision I or to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are applying through QuestBridge College Match. Please take the screenshot on your computer, not on your mobile phone. In the subject line of your email, please write your full legal name and ACT Score Delay. Early Decision applicants should also indicate their Common Application ID number (CAID) in their email to Pomona. Official scores will eventually be sent directly by ACT to confirm these provisional scores. Students admitted with provisional scores will be required to submit official test scores once the issue is resolved.”
Roanoke College, VA
“We will accept screenshots for the purpose of reading files, knowing that ACT will send them later on.”
Message from Brenda Poggendorf, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid
University of Chicago
University of Chicago, IL
“If your scores from the September ACT have been delayed, don’t panic! We will accept self-reported scores from Early Action applicants who have been notified that their September ACT score report is delayed.
To send self-reported scores, please forward the e-mail you received from ACT notifying you that your scores were delayed, along with a screenshot of your multiple choice scores, to email@example.com. Please note that we will compare your self-reported scores to your official scores once they arrive, and will re-review your file if there is a discrepancy.”
University of Georgia
University of Georgia, GA
“The ACT has announced that the September ACT scores with Writing are being reviewed and sent out slower than expected, but they still project having all scores sent to colleges within 3-8 weeks of the test being taken. Our office knew this timeline going into our Early Action planning, and so we will continue to import ACT scores through the projected 8 week out delivery date.
ACT Screen Shot of Scores – While the ACT has suggested that colleges might accept a screen shot of the ACT scores, we do not want these sent to us. As I stated above, we have planned for the long timeline that ACT has in sending out scores, so we will continue to import scores for EA (and RD). Again, do not send a screen shot of your scores, as we will not use it.”
University of Notre Dame, IN
“ACT announced this week that scoring of the ACT Writing Test is taking longer than anticipated due to the introduction of an enhanced design. ACT is working hard to resolve this backlog, but the possibility remains that score results for tests taken on October 24, 2015, may not be available until mid-December.
This delay in scoring affects only ACT test takers who have taken the optional writing portion of the exam. For those who did not take the optional writing portion, scores will not be delayed and should reach colleges and universities in 2-3 weeks.
On advice from ACT, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will accept screenshots of test results for the other sections. Affected students can send screenshots of their test results, which must include their name and any other identifying data, to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line of “ACT Scores Screenshot.” When the official results arrive, they will be reviewed and verified.
Please note Notre Dame does not require the Writing Test of the ACT and this delay in scoring affects only ACT test takers who have taken the optional writing portion of the October 24, 2015 exam.”
University of Pennsylvania, PA
“Penn Admissions is aware that some score reports for students who took the September 2015 ACT with Writing have been delayed and may impact our Early Decision or Questbridge applicants. Please note, Penn accepts the SAT or ACT and does not require the ACT Writing section.
For Early Decision or Questbridge applicants, if you were notified that your September 2015 ACT score report is delayed and:
- You have not yet completed the Common Application, please be sure to self-report your scores in the testing section of the Common Application. We will verify your self-reported scores when your official test scores have been received.
- You have already submitted the Common Application (as an ED Applicant or a Questbridge College Match participant), please contact email@example.com to notify us that you have been impacted by the ACT score report delay. Include as the header: “September 2015 ACT with Writing Score Report Delayed”. Please include your full name and either your Common Application ID or Questbridge ID in the body of your email with a message that you have been notified by ACT that your score report has been delayed. We will contact you directly with further instructions to share your self-reported scores.
For Early Decision applicants who took the October 2015 ACT with Writing exam we will continue to monitor the situation and provide instructions on what to do if ACT continues to experience score reporting delays.
University of Virginia, VA
Dean J: “In case you’ve missed the news, some students who took the ACT in September have been told their score reports will be delayed because of changes in the writing section…I don’t think you need to be worried about getting your scores to us if you are applying through Early Action to UVa. ACT anticipates having scores to us by November 6th. Because of our application volume, we’ll be reviewing applications well into January….
Application files get opened over and over again during the review. If you note that you took the ACT in September in the testing section of your Common App, we’ll know that we might not see those scores for a little while. We’ll have PLENTY of files to read in the meantime. We’ll keep an eye on your file and won’t make any final decisions until the ACT folks finish scoring the September exams. We have plenty of information to review in the meantime. You can still apply under Early Action.
I know the ACT statement says you should be sending screen shots or forwarding emails to us, but I don’t think that’s necessary at this time. If we get into late December and scores are still missing, I’ll post an update for those who are affected.”
If your ACT scores are delayed a few weeks, you’ll be okay!”
Wellesley College, MA
“If you received an email from the ACT notifying you that your September 2015 score report is delayed, don’t panic! Simply forward your email from the ACT, along with a screenshot of your multiple choice scores, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will compare your self-reported scores to your official scores once they arrive, and will re-review your file if there is a discrepancy. If, due to Hurricane Patricia, your test administration date was postponed, please email us at email@example.com explaining the change in your test date. Rest assured we will receive your test scores from the ACT as soon as they’re available.”
Yale University, CT
“Scores must be reported officially to Yale directly from the appropriate test agency. If you are using the last possible test date for an exam, we recommend asking either on or in advance of the test date that the testing agency send your results to Yale so that we receive them as soon as they are available.
**Note on October 2015 ACT testing: ACT has notified colleges that score reporting from this date will be delayed due to the implementation of enhancements to the writing portion of the test. Please understand that we cannot guarantee that we will receive October results in time to be considered in the Early Action admissions process.
Plan ahead! You do not need to wait to take the tests on the very last eligible date.”