Southwest Mississippi Community College is changing how ACT scores and scholarship awards will be handled.

President Dr. Steve Bishop asked school trustees to approve policy changes that would base dual enrollment, early enrollment, admission to nursing and career-technical programs and scholarship awards on a composite “superscore.”

ACT composite, or overall, scores are based on the scores test-takers receive on each of four subject-area sections: reading comprehension, English, math and science reasoning. The regular composite score is for a single administration of the test.

For the superscore, applicants who take the ACT more than once will be credited with the highest score on each section from any of their testing dates, effective in August for the next school year.

“We recognize that this means our scores are going to be going up,” Bishop said. “We have reviewed what other schools are doing, and we believe what we’re proposing is competitive and fiscally responsible.”

The school’s ACT-based scholarships are being changed from half- or full-tuition, some with book allowances, to dollar amounts.

An ACT composite or superscore of 21 to 24 will be worth $750 toward tuition, which is slightly more than the existing half-tuition amount of $745. A 25 to 28 score will receive $1,500 in tuition.

An applicant with a 29 or higher will be awarded $2,000 plus either room and board or a commuter meal plan.

“In the future when we raise tuition, we can examine those scholarship amounts,” Bishop said.

Board members in attendance voted unanimously to make the policy changes authorizing the superscore option for applicants.

Bishop said the school already uses the highest subject area scores for placing students into required courses like English composition or college algebra.

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