Scripps waives standardized testing requirement

The walkway outside Scripps' Toll residence hall
Scripps College is the second 5C to waive SAT and ACT requirements. (Courtesy: Sondra Abruzzo)

Scripps College announced it will drop SAT and ACT requirements for all applicants, adopting a test-optional admission policy.

The Scripps College Board of Trustees voted March 6 to adopt the policy, which will begin in the fall of 2021, according to a press release. The college will continue to consider applicants’ academic achievement, curriculum, engagement in and out of the classroom, essays and letters of recommendation.

Scripps becomes the second 5C to waive testing requirements, joining Pitzer College, which announced it would become test-optional in 2003.

Harvey Mudd College announced this February it would eliminate its SAT subject test requirement beginning fall 2021. The school previously required two subject tests, according to HMC’s website.

Scripps’ policy “will allow admission officers to identify and advocate for students with a strong academic profile who may have previously been viewed as less competitive, based on their performance on a single exam,” the release said. 

“By going test-optional, [colleges] increase diversity without any loss in academic quality. Eliminating ACT/SAT requirements is a ‘win-win’ for students and schools,” Robert A. Schaeffer, a vocal advocate for test-optional admissions policies, and public education director of FairTest, said in a January interview with Forbes

Nearly 50 undergraduate institutions waived SAT and ACT requirements from September 2018 to September 2019, according to FairTest.

At least 10 universities have adopted test-optional admissions policies due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in a postponed April ACT and a canceled May SAT, according to Forbes.

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