- Two Colorado state lawmakers plan to introduce a use a national assessment test score, such as from the ACT or SAT, as an admissions criteria, according to the office of one of the bill’s sponsors.
- The lawmakers said making the scores optional would improve access to higher education, while critics felt it would eliminate a vital college readiness standard, . State institutions the measure, the publication noted.
- Many that applicants submit test scores in light of the pandemic. But more significant moves by key states stand to make a longer-lasting impact.
Colorado is one of only a few states where lawmakers have a say inrequirements. In other states, they are decided by politically appointed oversight groups or institutional levels.
Angel Pérez, CEO of the National Association forCounseling, said he wasn’t expecting the proposal to happen quickly, though the group supports the measure. He noted that other states could follow Colorado’s lead. However, he said lobbying efforts would likely focus on the individual institutions in states where schools decide the policy for themselves.
NACAC encouraged public colleges tofor the current admissions cycle and urged all schools to that they will not be penalized for not submitting scores. NACAC also how they use the tests to ensure they do so equitably.
The Colorado bill would permanently expand a temporary measure thethat allowed public colleges to waive the test score requirement for applicants who graduated from high school in 2021. It would also to report data to the state on their applicants for ten years, the draft text states. The in mid-February.
“It doesn’t stop them from using the ACT or SAT if they want to … but provides flexibility to determine the combination of factors used as the basis for admission,” states a fact sheet about the forthcoming bill shared with Higher Ed Dive by one of the bill’s sponsors.
Manyscores as site closures and capacity reductions meant fewer people could sit for the exams. The situation severely affected the College Board and ACT, which struggled to make their tests available digitally.
And it drew attention to a movement percolating within higher ed before the pandemic, in whichto submit their exam scores.
Public universities in Oregonthat they would be test-optional going forward. Other public schools, including Temple and Old Dominion universities, already offered test-optional admissions. And the University of California system was already studying whether the ACT and SAT were reliable academic performance metrics when it for using the tests.
Some schools that went test-optional inare extending the policy. Penn State University it will be test-optional for first-year applicants through fall 2023.
critic Bob Schaeffer is hopeful about the Colorado bill, calling it “strong evidence” of the test-optional movement’s growing momentum. Schaeffer is the interim executive director of FairTest, which advocates for fair uses of the exams.
Jon Boeckenstedt, vice provost for enrollment management at Oregon State University, said in an email that it’s hard to tell whether decisions to continueare motivated by the pandemic, the need to do more research on their impact, or “a process of enlightenment” based on feedback from admissions officers who are no longer using the tests. Boeckenstedt has publicly supported test-optional admissions.
Still, many schools have held fast to their testing policies. Among them are public colleges in Florida, where the governors havethe admissions test requirement.
But decisions from within big states — such as the forthcoming Colorado proposal andthe UC system’s use of admissions tests — could impact how schools nationwide proceed with the tests, Pérez said.