Regent President Drew Petersen said in an interview last week that his “sense right now” is that the System is “committed to test scores.” But he also said he would like feedback from others and a chance to look at what the research says.
A 2018 study examining more than 950,000 applicants to 28 test-optional institutions found high school grades and first-year college GPAs were lower in students who did not submit test scores, but those students graduated at equal or slightly higher rates than those who submitted scores. And all but one of the institutions saw substantial increases in minority, low-income and first-generation students applying.
But skeptics of the practice — which includes the College Board, the organization that administers the SAT — defend standardized tests as a good predictor of college readiness. They also say that relying entirely on high school performance can be problematic with growing grade inflation, where teachers award higher grades than they did in the past or that students deserve.