State University of New York (SUNY) will no longer require applicants of its four-year undergraduate degrees to apply for admission with SAT or ACT test scores. The university made the announcement this week following a decision to temporarily halt the tests in June 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. The SUNY Board of Trustees agreed to a resolution that would see the policy continue. According to Politico, the resolution was brought forward by SUNY Chancellor John King. The resolution will look at a more holistic and balanced manner of considering applications besides the SAT/ACT scores. The resolution will be applicable to all 64 SUNY campuses.
“Each SUNY campus will continue with its longstanding commitment to a holistic review of student applications that includes grades, program of study, academic achievements, non-academic achievements, and other activities that allow for the evaluation of the potential success of a candidate for admission,” the resolution said.
The shift away from SAT/ACT has been attributed to how the test scores do not give a full representation of an applicant’s capabilities.
“An overwhelming majority of undergraduate admissions offices now make selection decisions without relying on ACT/SAT results,” FairTest Executive Director Harry Feder said. “These schools recognize that standardized test scores do not measure academic ‘merit.’ What they do assess quite accurately is family wealth, but that should not be the criteria for getting into college.”
SUNY is amongst a few other higher education institutions that have signaled a shift from SAT/ACT tests. Vassar College also announced its shift away from requiring the SAT/ACT test scores as part of the college’s application process on Thursday, April 13th.
Columbia University became the first ivy league school to make SAT/ACT tests optional, as previously reported by LittleAfrica News. The ivy league school claimed it would implement an application system that considers several factors instead of one. “We have designed our application to afford the greatest possible opportunity and flexibility for students to represent themselves fully and showcase their academic talents, interests, and goals,” the announcement said.
SUNY has experienced a 20% reduction in enrollment in the last ten years. Chancellor King said that the removal of the SAT/ACT tests as a requirement was not an act to boost enrollment, but simply a move in a different direction.