US News to Include Test-Blind Schools in Rankings

US News Ranking, US News College Rankings, Ranking of Colleges
US News & World Report will include test-blind schools in their rankings going forward.

Their hand was forced. In major college admissions news, US News & World Report, the publisher of the college rankings that we would argue hold the most weight among university administrators, parents, and students, has decided to start ranking schools that are test-blind. Note that a test-blind policy is not the same as a test-optional policy. As our readers now know, each of the eight Ivy League institutions have gone test-optional for the Class of 2025. Many other highly selective institutions have also dropped SAT and ACT requirements for next year’s applicants. If a school hasn’t gone test-optional yet, monitor their website over the course of the next few days and you’ll likely see they’ve dropped testing requirements for the Class of 2025. And yet these schools that have already gone test-optional or will soon go test-optional would have still appeared in US News’ ranking. So why the change from US News?

Test-Blind Colleges Will Be Included in Rankings

As reports Robert Morse and Eric Brooks for US News & World Report in a piece entitled “U.S. News to Start Ranking Test-Blind Schools,” “Because prospective students and their families want to know the academic quality of all schools, including ones that do not make use of standardized test scores. Also, in recent years a large number of colleges have changed their application requirements regarding the SAT and ACT. Recently, the coronavirus pandemic has been disruptive to administration of the SAT and ACT, inducing many colleges and university systems to at least temporarily discontinue using the exams or move to being test-optional. U.S. News cannot predict which of these changes will be temporary and which will be long-term, but expects that most schools surveyed will continue to make significant use of the SAT and ACT. Even so, there no doubt will be lasting changes…U.S. News believes now is the right time to end the use of standardized tests in admissions decisions as a requirement for inclusion in the rankings.”

Without a Change, Caltech Would Have Been Excluded from Ranking

In all, with this change, about 18 schools will likely be added to the ranking of national universities while seven schools will make the cut for national liberal arts colleges. So we don’t exactly anticipate this change wreaking havoc on the rankings. But if US News didn’t make this change, well, a school like the California Institute of Technology — which recently announced they will go test-blind for a two year period — would have been excluded from the national universities ranking. Yes, a school that has on more than one occasion topped this very ranking wouldn’t have been ranked. US News surely didn’t want that…especially when there may well be other schools that follow Caltech’s lead in choosing to go test-blind.

Have a question about US News & World Report‘s policy change for inclusion in the college rankings? Let us know your questions, your concerns, and what you ate for breakfast by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!

 
 

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