Does dropping the SAT/ACT requirement lead to more diversity on campus?

In an article published this morning for Inside Higher Ed, editor Scott Jaschik presents findings of several U.S. institutions that opted for the test-optional policy (TOP).

(A test-optional or test-flexible policy drops the requirement for a standardized test score in a student’s university or college application.)

Jaschik pulls data from a large research study conducted by Steven T. Syverson, Valerie W. Franks, and William C. Hiss. The study, titled Defining Access: How Test-Optional Works, is hosted electronically by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

The researchers compiled student-record level data from a total of 28 institutions. Institutions ranged in size of enrollment pools (from 1, 500 to 20, 000) and admissions selectivity (from 15 per cent to 90 per cent of students admitted). Among the 28 institutions were both long term and recent adopters of the TOP policy.

According to Jaschik, the study found that dropping the SAT or ACT requirement can “help colleges achieve key goals” and that institutions that adopted a TOP tended to attract bigger and more diverse pools of applicants and enrolled more diverse classes of students.

Notably, Jaschik writes, students who did not submit their standardized test scores graduated either at the same rate or higher rates than those students who did submit their scores when applying.

Jaschik focuses on George Washington University, which examined their student populace after their first round of test-optional admissions for the fall of 2016, as well as Wake Forest University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, both of which dropped the standardized testing requirement a decade ago.

To read the full article, visit:

To review the study, go to:

Find a list of test-optional and test-flexible U.S. institutions at:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.