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Half of Top 100 Colleges No Longer Require The SAT or ACT

Half of Top 100 Colleges No Longer Require The SAT or ACT

“Some institutions limit the option to students who attain a minimum high school GPA”

One of the few rites of passage into higher education is falling to the wayside.

The Daily Caller reports:

Half Of The Top 100 Colleges No Longer Require ACT Or SAT Scores

Half of the U.S.’s top 100 colleges no longer require ACT or SAT scores, according to a Wednesday report.

Students do not need to submit ACT or SAT scores or spend money related to preparation and administration of these tests to apply to 50 out of the U.S. News’ “Top 100” colleges, according to a press release from the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), an organization which strives for test-optional admission.

“The past four years – since the redesigned SAT was introduced – have seen the fastest growth ever of schools dropping ACT/SAT mandates,” said Bob Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest.

More than 1,000 colleges do not require submission of ACT and SAT results to apply. But ACT believes that the statistic is misleading.

“If colleges did not see any value in test scores, then they would not be test-optional; they would be test-free,” Ed Colby, ACT’s senior director of media and public relations, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Many of the schools on the list still require many or most applicants to submit test scores; the option [not to include a test score] may exist for only a subset of students,” Colby said. “Some institutions limit the option to students who attain a minimum high school GPA or who enroll in specific majors, while others require alternative measures.”


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Nationally normed standardized tests provide a dose of objective reality that this generation’s snowflakes prefer not to take. It’s sad, really, and I’m tired of hearing about GPA and class rank…high schools are as guilty of manipulating the data as colleges.

The whole system is becoming a mess and I shudder to think of the day it infects the professional schools (i.e. med school, vet school, pharmacy school, etc!)

pablo panadero | January 15, 2018 at 6:27 pm

The schools that do require these tests will soon find thenaverage scores rise, and their graduates be more successful. It is the final act of suicide for once great institutions.

I didn’t see anything resembling half of America’s top colleges on that list. I saw very few I’ve even heard of.

And here she is—

and by state—

The Daily Caller article is a mess—a mashup of competing claims about standardized tests and “diversity”, and whether the endless chase after diversity causes schools to founder in a sea of failure, or perhaps founder but do it in such a way that it doesn’t show.

Just to liven things up, a link to Kaplan is thrown in, though it seems to concern mainly how many schools are getting ACT scores vs. SAT scores … which doesn’t seem terribly relevant.

It’s not obvious that all of America’s (nearly) five thousand degree-granting post-secondary institutions should be paying attention to SAT/ACT scores. I can’t see, say, Berklee College of Music being terribly interested in a prospective student’s mastery of calculus. And schools like Fitchburg State will offer an education to anyone who can stagger in and come up with some tuition money. And there’s certainly a place for such schools. Not everybody can go to MIT. And not everybody wants to.

    artichoke in reply to tom_swift. | January 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    The SAT doesn’t test calculus. It tests math through Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 and seems to omit most of geometry. Open admission schools like many community colleges don’t require SAT but typically evidence of a HS diploma, but then they have their own tests and many kids have to make up math or writing with remedial courses that bear no credit. Some kids at the weaker 4 year schools who never have to worry about remedial courses, but start right in on credit bearing math and English, probably would have to remediate at community college.

One of the issues with class ranking is very misleading. All three of our children ranked number one in their class. Why? They were homeschooled. Of course, they were ranked number one. But they then became part of a larger statistic at the school…number of accepted “first in their class” students. See how that works? It really left a bad taste in my mouth.

    artichoke in reply to herm2416. | January 16, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    There’s lots of nonsense with admission stats. Diversity stats are another. Schools make arbitrary choices to improve those.