Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on May 27, 2008
It was reported this morning in the Chronicle of Higher Education that Wake Forest University has decided to go ‘test optional’ when it comes to undergraduate applicants. This means that the SAT and ACT tests will not be required for admission.
Currently, about 750 colleges and universities across the country are test optional, but Wake Forest is the most well known of the group. According to the story, diversity played a key role in the decision.
Wake Forest officials said their new policy was an attempt to create a more diverse campus (83 percent of the university's undergraduates are white). Administrators made their decision after reviewing research, including the results of a recent study by Bates College, in Maine, which dropped its SAT requirement in 1985.
Bates found that, over 20 years, there was virtually no difference between the academic performances of applicants who had submitted scores and those who had not. The two groups ended up with the same graduation rates. Bates also concluded that the policy had helped it double its applicant pool and attract a more diverse student body.
It will be interesting to see if this change opens the floodgates for more schools to go test optional.