College ditches SAT/ACT requirement to ‘increase the diversity’ of students

Students may still submit scores if they wish, but as an “optional” supplement to the rest of the application.

The college believes that this change will help to “increase the diversity” on campus.

Colorado College has announced that it will no longer be requiring applicants to submit standardized test scores as part of the application process.

In an effort to “increase the diversity” on campus, one Colorado school announced Wednesday that it is dropping its standardized test admissions requirement in pursuit of a more “holistic” approach to applicant evaluation.

Keeping with the growing trend of colleges and universities altering attitudes toward standardized testing, Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colo. announced that it will be dropping standardized tests like the SAT and ACT as requirements for admission.

Beginning in fall 2020, students may still submit their SAT or ACT scores, but as an “optional” portion of their application. The college is calling this a “test-optional admission policy,” and hopes that this policy, which “supports holistic consideration of applicants,” will “increase the diversity of its student body.”

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“The test-optional policy aligns with CC’s admission philosophy of holistic review, where students are valued as more than ‘a number’ and students’ strengths beyond their test scores are considered. The change also supports the college’s strategic plan on increasing access,” the school said.

“Standardized test scores do not always reflect the academic potential of students from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Colorado College psychology professor Kevin Holmes said, according to the news release. “The new test-optional policy removes a barrier to admission for these students.”

As justification for the change, the college points to “studies in recent years,” which it says “have increasingly made clear the cultural, social and economic biases of test design,” including issues of “access to preparation materials.”

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In 2010, the college’s admissions office softened its standardized testing requirement by broadening its options for acceptable test sources. Applicants had previously been required to submit either an SAT or ACT score, a common practice at American universities. The college’s move to a “flexible testing policy” allowed students to submit test scores from a wider variety of tests. 

The college boasts that since the 2010 change “the number of first-year students applying to the college has doubled and the applicant pool and student body has become more diverse,” but does not mention if the change had any effect on the academic success of those enrolled.

Campus Reform reached out to Colorado College for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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