More Colleges Backing off SAT and ACT Admissions Rule

By Dian Schaffhauser for

A running tally shows that more than a thousand accredited, four-year colleges and universities now make their admissions decisions about all or many applicants without considering ACT or SAT test scores. The count is being maintained by FairTest, a non-profit that advocates against high-stakes testing in university admissions and public schools because of its potential negative consequences.

According to FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer, half of the top 100 liberal arts colleges listed by U.S. News & World Report show up on the test-optional list, as do most of the colleges and universities in New England and more than half in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The list covers colleges and universities in every state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The fastest growth of institutions leaving the ACT and SAT “mandates,” said Schaeffer, has occurred since the SAT was redesigned. Since then, “more than 100 colleges and universities reduced standardized exam requirements in that period.”

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