College boards discuss eliminating the ACT and SAT

Ava Donahue, Staff Writer

Recently, the University of California announced that they are in support of eliminating the ACT and SAT as mandatory college admission tests. This announcement set fire to a debate across the United States college boards: should the ACT and SAT be mandatory for college admissions? 

The University of California System offers undergraduate and graduate education on nine campuses across the state of California.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said she supports ending mandatory ACT and SAT testing because of research showing that the tests are greatly affected by family income, race, and the parents’ education. 

The president of Smith College in Northhampton, Mass., eliminated mandatory SAT testing in 2002. As a result, the students applying to the college grew in both size and diversity. There was no decline in student quality, proving that the tests are not needed to choose the most qualified students. 

Students should not be reduced to numbers, according to UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia Larive, who added that students need to be evaluated within a broader context. Things such as student records, extracurriculars, sports, and other student accomplishments need to be examined, and the ACT and SAT can sometimes take away from those accomplishments.

When colleges are selecting students, the ACT and/or SAT scores are often the first thing they look for. If applicants have too low of a score to fit the college’s standard, they may get rejected. If they were unable to take the tests because of personal circumstances, they will probably get rejected. 

Christ said that the tests “contribute to the inequities of the system”. The tests judge students under strict numbers instead of looking at everything else they’ve done during their time in high school. By eliminating mandatory ACT and SAT testing for college admission, the country would most likely see an increase in people going to college. The benefits of ending mandatory ACT or SAT testing far outweigh the benefits of the tests themselves.