The University of Chicago joins a growing list of colleges that will no longer require students to submit ACT or SAT scores as an admission requirement.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
A growing number, including DePaul University, have opted to stop requiring the SAT and ACT in their admissions process, saying the tests place an unfair cost and burden on low-income and minority students, and ultimately hinder efforts to broaden diversity on campus. But the trend has escaped the nation’s most selective universities.
Until now. The University of Chicago announced Thursday that it would no longer require applicants for the undergraduate college to submit standardized test scores.
While it will still allow applicants to submit their SAT or ACT scores, university officials said they would let prospective undergraduates send transcripts on their own and submit video introductions and nontraditional materials to supplement their applications.
“We were sending a message to students, with our own requirements, that one test basically identifies you,” said Jim Nondorf, vice president and dean of admissions at U. of C. “Despite the fact that we would say testing is only one piece of the application, that’s the first thing a college asks you. We wanted to really take a look at all our requirements and make sure they were fair to every group, that everybody, anybody could aspire to a place like UChicago.”
The National Center for Fair and Open Testing states that there are over 1000 schools across the nation that do not require ACT or SAT for admissions. They report that half of the U.S. News “Top 100” liberal arts colleges are on their list of test-optional schools. So are a majority of all colleges and universities in New England and more than 50 percent in such states as Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
“Studies show that an applicant’s high school record – grades plus course rigor – predicts undergraduate success better than any standardized exam. By going test-optional, colleges increase diversity without any loss in academic quality. Eliminating testing requirements is a ‘win-win’ for both students and schools,” Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director with the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, stated back in January when their list first topped 1000 schools.
“College and university leaders are sending a clear message,” Schaeffer added. “Test scores are not needed to make sound educational decisions. It’s time for K-12 policy makers to pay attention and back off their testing obsession for public schools.”