Supreme Court Michigan Decisions Will Encourage "Holistic" Admissions

for further information:
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773

for immediate release, Monday, June 23, 2003

The U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the University of Michigan’s law school and undergraduate admissions policies should, “encourage even more colleges and universities to de-emphasize standardized test scores in evaluating applicants,” according to FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing.

Robert Schaeffer, FairTest’s Public Education Director, explained “Test scores do not measure merit, as our Supreme Court Amicus brief in these cases clearly demonstrates. Reliance on exams such as the LSAT and SAT contributes to racially discriminatory admissions practices but does not improve academic quality. The Supreme Court rulings mean that more colleges which want to promote both equity and excellence will implement ‘holistic’ procedures, which reduce the role of test scores and focus on richer sources of data.” Holistic admissions practices involve a comprehensive review of each applicant’s full portfolio including such factors as high school academic performance, extracurricular activities, community service, and family background.
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FairTest’s Supreme Court Amicus Brief in the Michigan cases and related information about test scores and their use is available on the web at