Test-Optional Takes Off

From highly ranked national universities and small liberal arts colleges to regional state schools, more than half of all four-year colleges in the United States will be test-optional for Fall 2021 applicants. Bob Schaeffer, Executive Director (interim) of FairTest: National Center for Fair and Open Testing, summarizes the rapid growth in the number of test-optional institutions in a news release today.

A terrific piece on this movement was published last week by NPR reporter Elissa Nadworn’s – Colleges Are Backing Off SAT, ACT Scores — But The Exams Will Be Hard To Shake. In it, she notes that just because more schools are test-optional does not necessarily mean that students will still not feel the pressure to test and score well.

Meanwhile, here in North Carolina our two flagship institutions, UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State, still require an ACT or SAT result for the class enrolling next fall. An announcement sometime soon that they will join the ranks of test-optional schools for Fall 2021 applicants would not surprise me – the pressure to do so is surely building on campus.