(WASHINGTON) — Looks like your chances of getting into your dream school just got easier — at least, if your dream college is George Washington University.
The Washington, D.C. private college is removing the SAT and ACT from most freshmen admission requirements, The Washington Post reports.
The reason speaks to the ongoing debate about the alleged cultural bias of standardized testing, which could cause some students from minority backgrounds to perform less well.
“We want outstanding students from all over the world and from all different backgrounds — regardless of their standardized scores — to recognize GW as a place where they can thrive,” said Dean of Admissions Karen Stroud Felton.
GWU is the largest of the more than 125 private colleges and universities with testing-optional admission policies, according to the National Center of Fair and Open Testing, or FairTest. Wesleyan University, American University and Wake Forest University are other major institutions included on the list.
Even so, test-optional admission policies aren’t a major growing trend, according to ACT President Jon L. Erickson. The majority of schools still require the SAT or ACT scores for consideration, and millions of students still follow the traditional ritual of taking one, or both tests, usually multiple times, in hopes of college admittance.
“I have to question why having less information to make a decision is a good thing,” said Erickson. “To me, for a good decision, you want as much information as possible.”
Ironically, both tests were originally created to increase college access and remove entrance bias by basing student candidacy on merit, and not relationships. However, research shows there are correlations between test scores and economic circumstances — a potential barrier George Washington University hopes to remove in order to increase diversity at the institution.
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