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Bruins grateful for waived college testing admissions requirement

For many universities and colleges, COVID-19 sparked initiative in re-evaluating testing admission requirements. Photo by Curt

Many aspects of life have changed as a result of COVID-19, including the revision in many college and university admission requirements to drop the SAT or ACT requirement for the 2021 application.

Even further, according to the New York Times, the University of California school system voted to “phase out the SAT and ACT as an admissions requirement over the next four years” to be replaced with their own admissions test. A select few other colleges including Davidson College, Haverford College, and Rhodes College have moved to waive this admissions requirement for a varied number of years as a step towards re-evaluating their testing requirements, according to the New York Times.

Student Counselor Cindy Henry-Grimm further explained how this decision affects this year’s seniors.

“While this may eventually be challenged in court, in the meantime, all state universities have withdrawn the requirements for the SAT for this year’s class due to the pandemic anyway,” she said. “Time will tell if this is to be a permanent change. This makes this year’s grades more important than in the past for seniors. Since P/NP was instituted nearly universally last spring, admissions personnel will be looking more closely at the rigor of students’ course choices and subsequent grades as indicators of success.”

Despite the tests being exempted from college admissions consideration, she continued to express that students should confide in the university policies to ensure that an ACT or SAT score isn’t needed for a different reason.

“That is a difficult question to answer and will be different depending on the student,” she said. “I would advise that you look at the universities where you are planning to apply to see what their policies are, not just for admissions but for scholarships/opportunities as well. If any of their scholarships, grants, awards, or educational opportunities, etc. are based on SAT/ACT scores, then I would encourage you to reach out to an admissions officer at that university for an answer. It is always best to use email when doing this so that you have an ‘in writing’ copy of the response available should something change down the road.”

Senior Alyssa Downes conveyed her belief that suspending the testing requirement is a great idea due to the COVID-19 safety issues. 

“I think it is a great idea, because then kids who won’t have access to the SAT due to safety issues or if their family financially can’t afford it will still [be able to] attend the school.”

Junior Zachary Arreguin also shared his positive views of the suspension of the testing requirement.

“I think that prohibiting state universities from using the college entrance exams SAT/ACT as an admittance tool was needed since some people are much better at other things besides tests,” he said.

Junior Rowan Knox believed that colleges should tell people more about this and be more clear to help with the overall process of higher education. 

“I think that schools should tell people when this change will be made, and be clear about it,” he said. “As for the change itself, I don’t mind it.”

Ms. Henry-Grimm gave some great advice for students and their path to college during this time of uncertainty due to the impact of COVID-19.

“Looking at your future; the college searches, the career exploration, job opportunities is such a wonderful and exciting time,” she said. “While this year has been challenging, it has also provided students with the chance to learn serious life skills that they will need their entire lives. There are so many messages and lessons to be learned from this, but the most important take away when things are beyond your control, is to remember to have faith in yourself. You can choose to thrive in the face of adversity. You can do this.”

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Bruins grateful for waived college testing admissions requirement