Pitzer College will adopt a completely test-blind admission policy beginning with the fall 2022 admission cycle, the school announced last week.
Pitzer has long led a movement in higher education to reduce the influence of test scores, becoming the first college on the West Coast to introduce a test-optional policy in 2003. But under the new approach, which will last for at least three years, students’ SAT and ACT admissions scores will be ignored altogether.
Test-blind policies and pilots have gained traction in recent months: where just three colleges took the stance a year ago, at least 60 have now adopted or begun testing the approach, according to Inside Higher Ed. And, largely spurred by the pandemic, more than two-thirds of U.S. colleges and universities have made test scores optional or irrelevant for this fall’s admissions cycle.
“The elimination of standardized test scores from our review process entirely has the potential to send a strong message about equity, access, inclusivity, and excellence,” Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid Yvonne Berumen PZ ’97 said in a statement announcing the move.
Pitzer says removing tests from the admissions mix will help level the playing field because the scores better reflect socioeconomic status than academic potential. Many studies over the last decade have established correlation between wealth and testing achievement.
In recent years, more than 40 percent of Pitzer’s applicants chose not to submit test scores with their application, the college said. The new policy’s three year pilot aims to assess “the policy’s impact on the applicant pool, admissions, demographic characteristics, and the goal to enhance equity and access, among other factors,” according to the statement.
All of the 5Cs are at least test-optional for the coming admissions cycle. Last March, Scripps College became the second 5C to permanently nix testing requirements.