State Superintendent Mike Flanagan says all Michigan high school juniors will continue to receive a free college entrance exam when the state transitions to the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Flanagan met with a group of school counselors this week in the state capital who were concerned that the ACT college entrance exam given to all high school juniors as part of the Michigan Merit Exam will be eliminated.

But Flanagan says state law requires that students be given a college entrance exam. The state's contract with ACT to provide the exam, which was signed in 2006, expires in May.

Education department officials said the state is in the bidding process and expects to award a new contract for an exam later this year.

Flanagan says it will be one of the traditional college entrance exams, since Smarter Balanced doesn’t have a college entrance exam.