ACT/SAT Test-Optional List Tops 1,000 Colleges, Universities

for further information, contact:

Bob Schaeffer(239) 395-6773                                         

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for immediate release Wednesday, January 10, 2018

ACT/SAT TEST-OPTIONAL LIST TOPS 1,000 COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES,

 INCLUDING MORE THAN 300 “TOP-TIER” INSTITUTIONS;

100+ SCHOOLS DROP ADMISSIONS EXAMS IN PAST FOUR YEARS

As final admissions deadlines loom for high school seniors, a new tally shows that more than 1,000 accredited, four-year colleges and universities now will make decisions about all or many applicants without considering ACT or SAT test scores. The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), the leader of the test-optional movement, released the milestone count.

Half of the U.S. News “Top 100” liberal arts colleges are on FairTest’s list of test-optional schools. So are a majority of all colleges and universities in New England and more than 50% in such states as Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

“The past four years – since the redesigned SAT was introduced – have seen the fastest growth ever of schools dropping ACT/SAT mandates,” explained FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer. “More than 100 colleges and universitiesreduced standardized exam requirements in that period. That’s a pace of one every two weeks.”

All told, U.S. News ranks more than 300 test-optional and test-flexible schools in the first tiersof their respective categories. Top-rated test-optional colleges include Bates, Bowdoin, Furman, Holy Cross, Pitzer, Sewanee, Smith, Wesleyan and Whitman. Among leading national universities, American, Brandeis, George Washington, Wake Forest and Worcester Polytechnic are all ACT/SAT-optional.

There are many reasons for the test-optional surge, according to FairTest. Schaeffer explained, “Studies show that an applicant’s high school record – grades plus course rigor – predicts undergraduate success better than any standardized exam. By going test-optional, colleges increase diversity without any loss in academic quality. Eliminating testing requirements is a ‘win-win’ for both students and schools.”

“College and university leaders are sending a clear message,” Schaeffer concluded. “Test scores are not needed to make sound educational decisions. It’s time for K-12 policy makers to pay attention and back off their testing obsession for public schools.”

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- FairTest’s frequently updated directory of test-optional, 4-year schools is available free online at https://www.fairtest.org/university/optional

-  A list of test-optional schools ranked in the top tiers by U.S. News & World Report is posted at http://www.fairtest.org/sites/default/files/Optional-Schools-in-U.S.News-Top-Tiers.pdf

-  A chronology of schools dropping ACT/SAT requirements is at http://www.fairtest.org/sites/default/files/Optional-Growth-Chronology.pdf