Many colleges require standardized tests of applicants but fail to conduct research on whether the tests in fact predict college success and do so better than other tools, found to a new report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling. The complaint is longstanding and may become more relevant as increasing numbers of colleges are dropping testing requirements. “As high school curricula and transcripts continue to diversify, regular predictive validity research can help colleges better understand the degree to which various factors influence student success at their schools,” said a statement from NACAC CEO Joyce Smith.
Cappex, a company that helps colleges identify potential students and prospective students identify colleges to which to apply, is starting its own college application. The application will debut this fall and will be free. A spokesman said "dozens" of colleges plan to accept the application and the company will soon release a list of them.
Columbia University announced that it will no longer require applicants to submit two SAT subject tests, which are offered in a range of fields. Only a small number of colleges require the subject tests. The university also announced that it will not require the writing portion of the SAT or ACT, one of which applicants must still take.
A survey of law schools by Kaplan Test Prep has found that while most of them don't plan to move beyond the Law School Admission Test for admissions, a minority are open to using the GRE. The University of Arizona has started accepting the GRE -- to the consternation of supporters of the LSAT. In a survey of 125 law schools, 56 percent said they have no plans to offer the GRE as a test alternative to the LSAT, while 14 percent do, and another 30 percent haven't decided.
The interest in the GRE is significant in that the Educational Testing Service is not promoting it widely to law schools but is doing additional validity testing on the GRE to predict success in law school. While support for the LSAT appears strong, most law schools object to requiring the use of the LSAT and want institutions to decide for themselves whether to use the GRE, the survey found.
Hillary Clinton on Thursday endorsed legislation in California that would limit the share of non-Californians enrolled at University of California campuses to 10 percent, CNN reported. "One of the things we are going to do is get the cost of college down, and I heard just today that the Legislature in California is going to limit the number of foreign students," Clinton said, while campaigning for votes in California's Democratic presidential primary. "I have to say, I approve of that." (The legislation, passed Wednesday by the Assembly, sets limits on all out-of-state students, not only international students.)
Clinton said she realized that state universities were admitting more nonresident students because they "pay the full cost," but she said that it was time to move away from that model. "We have got to get back to using public colleges and university for what they were intended," Clinton said. "If it is in California, for the children in California. If it is in New York, for the children in New York."
Times Higher Education, which is well known for its global rankings of universities, announced Monday that it is starting a ranking of American colleges and universities. Many American universities are already part of (and do quite well in) Times Higher's World University rankings, but the methodology for that ranking (with points based, among other things, on research reputation, citations, and tech transfer) would not work for the majority of American colleges that are not research universities. Times Higher's announcement said it would try to offer rankings that would not primarily reward selectivity. While Times Higher did not reveal its methodology in detail, it said that it would be based on federal data on completion rates and earnings. In addition, data will come from a new Times Higher Education Student Survey, which will gather student views on about 1,000 institutions. Questions in the survey will seek to determine students’ engagement with their learning and how they perceive the value of their educations.
Disclosure: Times Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed trade one article each week, but Inside Higher Ed plays no role in Times Higher's rankings.
East Stroudsburg University announced this week that it is starting a pilot in which applicants will no longer be required to submit SAT or ACT scores. The university is the first within the Pennsylvania State System to go to test-optional admissions for all applicants.
ACT on Tuesday announced a series of changes in the way people may request accommodations in testing conditions. Many advocates for students with disabilities have said that it is too time-consuming and complicated to request such accommodations. The new system should cut the paperwork required and should, on average, decrease the time to be notified of decisions on requests by 10 days.