Caldwell University said Thursday it is making the standardized admissions tests of the SAT and ACT optional for applicants for three years beginning with the fall semester of 2020.
The pilot program was put in place to allow for increased equity and access for students, and addresses the limitations COVID-19 placed on the ability to administer tests.
“We believe this is a very good option for students which will still allow for the validity of our admissions process while alleviating stress for vulnerable populations,” said Stephen Quinn, vice president for enrollment management and communications. “This has been an ongoing dialogue at universities in the United States. This plan reflects our Catholic Dominican mission and the focus of serving students in an inclusive manner.”
Students who do not submit test scores can apply for any major and do not have to submit any additional documentation. Prospective students can still opt to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their admissions application. Incoming students who do not submit test scores can still receive academic scholarships.
In April, the National Association for College Admission Counseling encouraged higher education institutions to reassess their admission criteria in light of the overwhelming challenges faced by many students including the COVID-19 pandemic and issues of access for low-income, first-generation and other vulnerable populations. Studies have shown that higher family income and the availability of preparation tests affect higher test scores.