CSU Eliminates ACT/SAT Admission Requirements

by Jocelyn Gecker | The Associated Press

Officials decided on Wednesday that the Cal State University system will eliminate the SAT and ACT exams from admissions requirements, in a move that will keep California’s public universities at the forefront of the national trend to omit standardized tests.

California State University’s board of trustees unanimously approved the change, aligning the nation’s largest four-year university system with a “test-free” admissions process already adopted by the University of California system.

The California State University System has 477,000 students in 23 colleges across the state, while the University of California has more than 280,000 students enrolled in 10 colleges.

The University of California Board of Regents voted last year to eliminate the standardized test admissions requirement at its undergraduate schools, which include the prestigious campuses of UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Acting Cal State Systems Chancellor Steve Relia praised the decision, saying it will help “level the playing field and provide greater access to high-quality college degrees for students of all backgrounds.”

Critics have long argued that standardized tests put minority and low-income college applicants at a disadvantage and hinder their admissions. He notes that wealthy students or their parents have money to pay for expensive standardized exam preparation courses that help raise their scores.

“In essence, we are ending our reliance on a high-stress, high-stakes trial that has shown negligible benefit,” Relya said in a statement.

California’s public universities, like many universities across the country, postponed exams during the pandemic and were no longer required during the admissions process for college admissions during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years.

Amid the pandemic, more than 1,800 colleges and universities, or nearly 80% of America’s four-year campuses, adopted either test-optional or score-free policies for fall 2022 applicants, said Bob Schaefer, executive director of FairTest. Said Boston-based anti-testing group.

The decision by Cal State and the University of California college system to make that ban permanent “will set a standard for public higher education across the country,” Schaefer said.

“It is no accident that many other public systems, literally from Washington state to Maine, now have similar policies. The whole country is watching California, and largely following the state’s lead,” he said.

Cal State System spokesman Tony Mole said students can still choose to submit SAT or ACT scores, which will not be considered for admissions purposes but may help with their placement for English and math courses.

The system suspended the standardized testing requirement during the pandemic, instead calling it “multi-factor admissions scores,” which gave campuses high school grade point averages, extra-curricular activities and leadership roles, as well as applicants first. were or were not allowed to be considered. -Generation college students or came from schools with a high percentage of low-income students.

A systemwide advisory council made up of faculty, students and administrators and student leaders was put in charge of studying whether to drop the test and recommend changes to the Cal State College System’s board.

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