Cal State system ditches SAT/ACT, citing 'equity and fairness,' 'high-stress'

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school system suspended the consideration of standardized test scores for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years.

California State University will now use students' GPAs as the 'primary consideration for admission.'

The California State University system will no longer be considering standardized SAT and ACT test scores as part of its admissions process, citing “equity and fairness” as part of its deliberations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school system suspended the consideration of standardized test scores for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years, but on Mar. 22 the university announced the changes would be permanent.

California State University, which is the largest public university system in the country, will implement a “multi-factored admission criteria” to determine student eligibility bereft of standardized testing scores to use for consideration.

California State University’s Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Toni Molle told Campus Reform that the school “draws its students from the top third of California’s high school graduates” and that grade point averages (GPA) will be the “primary consideration for admission.”

[RELATED: University of California ditches SAT requirements after students sue]

The goal for eliminating the school’s reliance on a “high-stress, high-stakes test” in the admissions process is to “level the playing field and provide greater access to a high-quality college degree for students from all backgrounds,” according to Acting Chancellor Steve Relyea.

The school’s Admission Advisory Council (AAC) recommended the use of standardized testing be permanently discontinued in the admissions process in January 2022, and the changes were unanimously approved by the CSU Board of Trustees in March.

The AAC considered “pandemic-related hardships,” “equity and fairness” and the school’s Graduation Initiative 2025 which places an “emphasis on equity.”

Graduation Initiative 2025 is “CSU’s determined effort to ensure that all students regardless of racial, ethnic or financial background have an equal opportunity to earn a college degree.”

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The Cal State Students Association (CSSA) and the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) have both previously supported amendments to discontinue the consideration of standardized testing in admission.

Students will be able to submit their SAT and ACT scores to be used in academic placement.

Previously, the University of California discontinued its consideration of standardized testing scores for admission following a 2019 lawsuit that argued that the entrance tests are “biased” against low-income and minority students.

A lawyer representing the students who sued the university told the New York Times that the SAT and ACT are “racist metrics.”

In January, the College Board announced that its SAT test would be going digital and would last for two hours, instead of three, with more time added to process each question.

Campus Reform reached out to California State University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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