Favoring comprehensive approach, colleges shift their focus away from standardized test scores
Walsh University recently joined the list of schools, which includes Denison University and Baldwin Wallace University, that do not require the inclusion of ACT and SAT test scores on college applications.
Such a transition results in reliance upon GPA rather than on standardized testing when considering applicants for admission.
“We want to allow students with a 3.0 [or higher] (non-student athletes and direct admits) to exemplify their brilliance and well-rounded mindsets, even if they aren’t the best standardized test takers,” Tim Carter, Admissions Counselor at Walsh University, said.
Another factor contributing to the number of schools opting out of standardized testing is the connection between students who test well and their socioeconomic status.
Jesse Yeager is the Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Denison University, which has been a test optional school since 2007.
Yeager says benefits of this test optional policy are significant for students in terms of opportunity.
“There is an idea that a test-optional policy makes the admissions process more accessible to bright and talented individuals coming from all segments of the population, including students of color, first-generation college-goers, and young people from less privileged socioeconomic backgrounds. There is a lot of data that suggests the SAT/ACT tests are stratified along socio-economic lines,” Yeager said.
Locally, the College of Wooster still requires test scores, but a policy change may occur eventually.
“We consider [the test-optional policy] frequently, and it’s still on the table. It’s still under consideration, and it’s still something that we may do soon,” Scott Friedhoff, Director of COW admissions, said.
Currently, there are 30 schools in Ohio that have deemphasized the value of ACT and SAT scores, according to FairTest.org.