States and Systems Move Away From Testing in Admissions

Actions have been taken in California, Colorado, Illinois, Montana, New York, North Carolina and Washington State.

June 1, 2021
(Tero Vesalainen/Getty Images)

In mid-May, the University of California agreed to stop using the SAT or ACT in admissions on any of its campuses. It did so to settle a lawsuit filed against the system.

It turns out that a series of public university systems and state governments were about to act on the SAT and ACT -- going test optional.

  • In Colorado, Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed legislation to make all of the state's public colleges and universities test optional in admissions. The bill ended, permanently, a state requirement that all applicants submit ACT or SAT scores.
  • In New York, the City University of New York system suspended SAT and ACT requirements for the fall 2022 and spring 2023 admission cycles.
  • In Illinois, the General Assembly has sent to Governor J. B. Pritzker, a Democrat, legislation that would require all public colleges and universities in the state to be test optional in admissions.
  • In Montana, the board of the Montana University System voted to make SAT and ACT scores optional, permanently -- except ACT scores will be required for honors scholarships.
  • In North Carolina, the University of North Carolina system Board of Governors voted to extend a test-optional policy through next year.
  • In Washington State, all public colleges have gone test optional, permanently.

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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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