Bombed the SAT or the ACT? Here are colleges that are ‘test-optional.’
The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, known as FairTest, is an advocacy group that tracks the test-optional movement. It has a list of more than 800 schools that admit substantial numbers of students to bachelor’s degree programs without using SAT or ACT scores.
The description of the list is carefully worded because of nuances in policies. Some schools require tests but allow students to submit results from assessments other than the two big admissions tests. Some public schools require tests but will then admit a portion of students based on grades or class rank, without considering their test scores. Some are test-optional but only for students who meet certain grade-point average thresholds. And so on.
The Washington Post analyzed FairTest’s list to see what types of schools offer some type of flexibility. Here are a few takeaways.
- There are about 180 public and private schools on the list with published rankings from U.S. News & World Report, some of them national and many regional. They range from Agnes Scott College, a women’s school in Georgia, to Wake Forest University, a liberal arts/research university in North Carolina. There are no test-optional schools, however, among the top 25 on the U.S. News national university list. In general, there are far more test-optional schools among liberal arts colleges than major national universities.