California State University System Permanently Drops Undergraduate Admissions Testing Requirements

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This week, the California State University (CSU) board of trustees voted unanimously to eliminate standardized SAT and ACT testing requirements from the undergraduate admissions process at all schools in the CSU system.

CSU, the nation’s largest four-year college system, had previously suspended standardized testing requirements throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, citing issues of fairness, equity and academic hardship.

“This decision goes in the direction [CSU’s] continued efforts to level the playing field and provide greater access to a high-quality college degree for students from all walks of life,” CSU Acting Chancellor Steve Relyea said in a press release. “Essentially, we are eliminating our reliance on a high-stress, high-stakes test that has shown negligible benefit and providing our candidates with greater opportunities to demonstrate their drive, talents, and potential for academic success. .”

CSU’s new policy aligns with the University of California (UC) system, which dropped its standardized testing admissions policies last spring. Collectively, the two university systems serve more than 700,000 students between CSU’s 23 schools and UC’s 10 schools. Opponents of the SAT and ACT hailed the decision as a major victory for educational equity.

ACT released a statement criticizing the board’s decision and said eliminating the test “is likely to deepen entrenched inequities with California.” California universities are not alone, however. More than 1,800 colleges and universities across the country have either eliminated standardized testing requirements or made testing optional in recent years.

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