North Dakota Public Colleges Permanently Drop Admissions Testing Requirements


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Diving Brief:

  • The North Dakota State Council on Higher Education voted in late May to end admissions requirements that require undergraduate applicants to provide standardized test scores.
  • The board had temporarily allowed students to waive submitting SAT or ACT scores until summer 2023 in light of the coronavirus pandemic. His recent vote makes the optional testing policy permanent.
  • Exam results can still be used for course placement and scholarship determination.

Overview of the dive:

North Dakota’s public universities cater to the likes of both California’s public four-year university systems permanently ending the entrance exam requirements.

Many colleges moved to optional testing admissions when the coronavirus began to spread in 2020, recognizing that students would not be able to report for assessments despite pandemic restrictions. But institutions have since extended optional testing policies. Some, like California’s public systems, have made the move permanent, while others, like the University of North Carolina systemderogations extended for a few more years.

More than 1,830 colleges do not require SAT or ACT scores for fall 2022, according to FairTest, an organization advocating limited use of standardized assessments. This count includes colleges that did not request test results before the pandemic.

Few colleges that have tried optional testing rules have reverted to requiring SAT or ACT scores, although the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced in March it would revert to its previous policies after waiving admission tests. MIT said that at the time, standardized test scores provided insight into students’ academic performance, especially in math.

Opponents of the SAT and ACT, however, argue that the scores are heavily influenced by the extensive tutoring affluent students can afford, which would mean the tests limit access to college for historically underrepresented applicants. .

The University of California and California State systems both cited a desire to remove admissions barriers for vulnerable students when they ended their admissions requirements.

North Dakota officials, however, focused on desire to stay competitive with other institutions removing testing mandates.

Andrew Armacost, president of the University of North Dakota, said the state’s public colleges would be at a “huge admissions disadvantage” if they didn’t offer elective test admissions like neighboring states. , the Grand Forks Herald reported.

The North Carolina system pointed to a similar reasoning when it expanded voluntary testing policies in April.

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