The University of Tennessee has agreed to accept students' scores from a "mis-administered" ACT exam if the testing company releases them, according to Lt. Gov. Randy McNally.
On Thursday, McNally said he was informed by UT Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor John Zomchick that UT would accept students' scores from an Oct. 17 ACT test that the company later invalidated.
“I am grateful, once again, to our flagship university for their proactive accommodation of these students. I am hopeful that other Tennessee colleges and universities, private and public, will follow suit,” McNally said in a statement.
It is up to ACT to decide whether they will release the scores. The testing company invalidated the scores of 409 Bearden High School students who took the test on Oct. 17, but were given a testing booklet intended for Oct. 3.
ACT has denied an appeal by the Tennessee Department of Education to validate the test results. The students were told they could retake the test for free on Dec. 9.
A number of students at Alvin C. York Institute in Fentress County were also told their ACT scores wouldn't be certified because of a date mix-up on their exam booklets, similar to the situation at Bearden.
Adam Kleinheider, communications director for the Lt. Gov., said UT's decision showed they are understanding of the situation the students are in, but ultimately, UT can only accept the scores if ACT releases them.
“The ACT simply needs to explain the situation, release the scores and let colleges and universities make their own determination as to their value," McNally's statement said. "Their refusal to release the scores has turned the college admissions process into a hostage situation. The ACT needs to release these scores and let our young adults have the fighting chance at the scholarships, financial aid and college acceptance they have worked for.”
UT previously told 10News they would accept students' ACT scores from the Dec. 9 retake, even though the scores would be received after certain admissions deadlines.