During the pandemic, many colleges backed off on using SAT and ACT scores in admissions. Research has shown — and lawsuits have argued — that the tests, long used to measure aptitude for college, are far more connected to family income and don’t provide meaningful information about a student’s ability to succeed in college. Wealthier families are also more likely to pay for test prep courses, or attend schools with curricula that focus on the exams.
As pandemic restrictions loosen up, and in-person testing resumes, some universities have begun to reincorporate the SAT and ACT into their admissions. But others have made the temporary changes permanent. That includes Washington state’s public universities, which announced earlier this month that its schools will no longer require test scores for admission.
This spring, the University of California system agreed to continue a test-free admissions policy through 2025. California sends the largest number of high school students to U.S. colleges, and if the UC system no longer uses the tests, it’s unclear whether those students will be interested in applying to other schools that do require them.