University of Chicago Makes SAT and ACT Optional for Admissions

Kathryn Knight Randolph

July 02, 2018

University of Chicago Makes SAT and ACT Optional for Admissions
First elite college to longer require standardized test scores.
Terrible test takers – rejoice! More and more colleges and universities across the country are making standardized test scores optional in the admissions process; and now, one of the most academically rigorous, elite universities is joining their ranks. In June, the University of Chicago announced it would no longer require SAT or ACT scores to admit students. According to The Chicago Tribune, the University of Chicago wanted to send a message to prospective students: students from any and every background, zip code and educational institution are welcome to apply. The Tribune states, “U. of C. leaders have long wanted to increase diversity on campus and said they hoped a test-optional policy, at minimum, will prevent students from assuming that anything less than an outstanding test score automatically takes them out of the running.” With this move, the University is hoping to diversify its student body and “make it easier for first-generation, low-income and minority students to apply and get into the school,” reports The Chicago Tribune. Instead of test scores, students will be judged for admission based on four years of work at their high school, video introductions and any other supplemental materials that would help define who they are as a person and a student.
Additionally, the University expanded its financial aid opportunities by providing free tuition for families that make $125,000 or less per year as well as four-year scholarships for first generation students. While University of Chicago is the first elite college to make standardized test scores optional, it joins the ranks of plenty of other exceptional colleges and universities around the country. As of 2017, there were over 950 schools that no longer required SAT and ACT scores, according to The Washington Post, and the numbers continue to grow. U.S. News and World Report has identified the top schools that no longer require test scores (University of Chicago being excluded given its very recent decision):
1. Bowdoin College – Brunswick, Maine
2. Smith College – Northampton, Massachusetts
3. Colby College – Waterville, Maine
4. Wesleyan University – Middletown, Connecticut
5. Colorado College – Colorado Springs, Colorado
6. Bates College – Lewiston, Maine
7. Wake Forest University – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
8. New York University – New York, New York
9. Bryn Mawr College – Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
10. Pitzer College – Claremont, California

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