Universities Continue to Switch to ACT/SAT Blind Policies

Friday, September 18, 2020

Universities continue to change to SAT/ACT test blind policies, which means they simply no longer accept the SAT/ACT results from student applicants. These policies are a step further than test-optional, which no longer requires SAT/ACT tests but gives students the option to submit them if desired. Loyola University New Orleans (shown in image) is one of many that are now test blind.

High school students who--after earning their high school diploma--plan to go to college are familiar with SATs and ACTS. Many high school students and their parents enter the college application process knowing that they will have to spend extra time and extra financial resources to prepare for the SAT/ACT.

As it turns out, more and more colleges are deciding ot go SAT/ACT blind.

In May, only three universities had the SAT/ACT blind status—Loyola University New Orleans (shown in image), Hampshire College and Northern Illinois University.

As of today, there are as many as 59 colleges who are test blind.

Test blind colleges and universities do not look at SAT and ACT exam scores even if students submit them.

More colleges are test optional rather than test blind, and many of these test optional universities have only adopted this policy temporarily for one or two years.

Loyola New Orlean’s announcement is worth noting because the university has, on average, attracted students with good test scores. Scott Jaschik, a contributer to Inside Higher Ed. cites a recent profile that showed that the university lists an SAT average of 1367 and an ACT average of 30.

When Loyola announced its policy—quite early on in the COVID-19 pandemic—it reflected on the difficulty that students faced in taking the SAT or ACT. Colleges and universities that have followed Loyola’s suit include many that are highly competitive in college admissions such as the University of California Berkeley, the University of California Irvine and University of California Santa Cruz.

Furthermore, a California state judge has actually barred all University of California system colleges from using SAT and ACT scores due to concerns over whether students with disabilities would be able to get accommodations they needed.

Some liberal arts colleges, such as Reed College and Dickinson College, have begun to join the test blind movement.

The SAT and ACT situation has worsened since May. Both college entrance exams are being given but test registration has been quite a challenge for many. Students have also complained of last-minute cancellations at some test centers.

What does this mean for prospective college students?

Current school students who are deciding to apply for college or those that have already graduated high school and earned their high school diploma, but have not yet began four-year college, can now think about how there are several top colleges and universities that are test blind.

It is true; performing well on the SAT and ACT often requires extra financial resources and extra time resources that not all high school students or prospective college students can afford. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the situation appears to be even more complicated for those who do not have access to such resources.

Applying to a test blind college or university may be just the right move for these students.

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