3 More Colleges Go Test Optional

Oregon Tech, SIU Carbondale and Spalding are the latest to join the movement.

January 6, 2020
Stock image of a standardized test form.
(iStock)

Three more colleges went test optional in admissions at the end of 2019.

They are the Oregon Institute of Technology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Spalding University.

  • Oregon Tech is the first public university in Oregon to go test optional. The university is opening the policy to all applicants. Erik Johnson, director of admissions, issued this statement: “Our data demonstrates that course progression and grade patterns were stronger indicators of success at the time of admission than cumulative [grade point average] or scores. ACT and SAT have a role in our placement and success models when combined with other variables like math and lab science grades, but in no way should a low or lack of a score reflect negatively in the review process.”
  • SIU Carbondale will, in the future, admit any student who applies with a 2.75 GPA. “Research has consistently demonstrated that the most important predictor of college success is the high school grade point average,” said a statement from Chancellor John M. Dunn. “Standardized tests can be a barrier to many students due to cost and demographic factors. We have a responsibility to level the playing field and ensure that every student with potential has an opportunity to study at SIU.”
  • Spalding, in Louisville, Ky., will admit students with a high school GPA of 3.0. A statement from the university said, "Our research has shown that there are applicants for whom the SAT/ACT may not be a fair predictor of academic preparedness based upon their motivations and high school academic accomplishments. Other than standardized test scores that are below our requirements, these students meet or exceed our average student profile. There is very little difference between this population and those with standardized test scores -- comparable GPA, class rank and academic performance."

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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