DeSantis vetoes bill to waive graduate testing for veterans

by | Jun 24, 2024



Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a bill that aimed to waive standardized testing requirements for veterans applying to graduate programs at Florida state universities, citing concerns about maintaining academic standards.


Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed legislation on Friday that would have waived standardized testing requirements for veterans applying to graduate programs at Florida’s state universities.

The measure, Senate Bill 494, sought to eliminate the need for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) for service members and veterans in an attempt to simplify the process for veterans transitioning to higher education by acknowledging their military experience as a substitute for these tests.

DeSantis, in his veto message to Secretary of State Cord Byrd, noted the importance of standardized tests in maintaining a rigorous, merit-based admissions process and argued that removing such requirements could undermine academic standards and that the benefits of the waiver for students were unclear.

“While the motivation behind this legislation is laudable, it is not clear that waiving these tests will be beneficial to our institutions or even, in many cases, to the students themselves,” wrote DeSantis.

Currently, Florida’s state universities can set their own admissions criteria, including waiving standardized tests for some applicants. Many institutions temporarily waived GRE and GMAT requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some have extended these waivers.

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