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US colleges resume standardized testing, finding test-optional policies negatively impact minority students

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Last Updated on March 20, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

As universities across the United States work to promote fairness and inclusivity in the college admissions process, many are facing a dilemma regarding the use of standardized testing. After previously dropping SAT or ACT requirements due to concerns about inequality in higher education, some institutions are now reinstating these tests to help identify promising students who might otherwise be overlooked.

The University of Texas at Austin is among the universities that have decided to require test scores again. This move has sparked debate among academics and college admissions counselors. While some experts believe that standardized tests can be helpful in interpreting transcripts and identifying high-achieving, less-advantaged students, others argue that these tests disproportionately favor students from privileged backgrounds and could further perpetuate inequalities in higher education.

The issue has become a hot topic in the academic community as universities navigate the best ways to promote fairness and inclusivity in the college admissions process. While some institutions believe that requiring standardized tests can level the playing field and provide a more holistic view of applicants, others are concerned about the potential negative impact on underrepresented students.

As universities continue to grapple with these competing perspectives, it remains to be seen how the role of standardized testing will evolve in the college admissions process. In the meantime, students and parents are encouraged to stay informed about the policies of the universities to which they are applying and to consider all aspects of the admissions process when planning for their academic future.

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