SAT and ACT Requirement at Elite Universities

SAT Requirement, ACT Requirement, SAT in Admissions
UChicago is an exception among America’s highly selective colleges in not requiring the SAT or ACT in admissions — not the rule.

More and more colleges are dropping the SAT and ACT requirement in admissions, right? The answer is a qualitative yes. More and more colleges are dropping the SAT and ACT as an admissions requirement, but this trend does not hold true at America’s highly selective colleges where the SAT or ACT remains a requirement for admission. You see, it bugs us when we read headlines that more and more schools are dropping the requirement because highly selective colleges are a small portion of America’s colleges and that which is true at America’s colleges in general isn’t necessarily true at our nation’s elite institutions.

Many Universities Have Moved Away from the SAT and ACT

Today, we thought we’d point out just how the media is getting this important point wrong. As reports Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for EducationDive in a piece entitled “Standardized tests still a big factor in college admissions, report finds,” “Despite aggressive campaigns from anti-testing activists to eliminate the SAT and ACT as factors in college admissions, a significant number of institutions still consider the standardized assessments to be an important metric in judging prospective students’ academic potential, according to a report released this week. Slightly fewer than half of colleges and universities that responded to survey questions from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) believe the two tests are ‘considerably important’ in admissions.”

But The Vast Majority of America’s Elite Universities Have Not Moved Away from the SAT and ACT

The article goes on to point out that more than 440 colleges responded to this NACAC survey, both public and private. But, as our readers know, there are not 440 highly selective colleges. There are about 25 highly selective colleges. So this data is coming from the broad spectrum of universities across the land. And that’s just fine. But when that same article cites only one university and that university happens to be the most highly ranked school that is test-optional — the University of Chicago — we can’t help but feel folks are being misled: “Elite institutions such as the University of Chicago have gone test-optional in the last few years, giving new momentum to testing critics’ efforts to cut the SAT and ACT from the screening process.” The media can and must do better to get this story right so as not to mislead the public that the vast majority of America’s elite colleges value the SAT or ACT no less today than they did just a few years ago.


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