FairTest's Updated List of Test-Optional Schools

There's a lot of talk about testing at the moment -- the SAT and ACT have just been administered and results of the PSAT arrive soon. But remember that today there are hundreds of four-year colleges that have deemphasized ACT and SAT scores in making their admission decisions. And the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest) has updated and redesigned their listing of the more than 800 schools with test-optional policies.

"To make our list even more useful," says FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer, "FairTest rechecked requirements at all the schools. At the same time, we eliminated multiple listings of those that maintain several campuses. For applicants who care about rankings, it is worth noting that nearly 150 colleges and universities on our test-optional list rank in the top tier of their respective academic categories."

Students can find the free comprehensive list of these schools online here at fairtest.org.  National universities on the list include Wake Forest, New York University, Arizona State University, Kansas State University, University of Texas at Austin, and DePaul University. And national liberal arts colleges include Dickinson College, Bryn Mawr, Augustana, Middlebury, Hamilton, Mount Holyoke, and Pitzer College.

Schools have many reasons for going test-optional. What students need to know is that there are now hundreds -- remember more than 800 -- with test-optional policies. As you research schools and begin standardized testing, be sure to understand the particulars of the testing policy of each school on your list.

At some schools, "test-optional" may mean that students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores. At others, eligibility to submit scores may depend on factors such as the student's GPA. Applicants may also be required to meet alternative submission requirements such as graded papers or additional teacher recommendations.

Bottom line: there's a school for everyone. And the list at FairTest is a great starting point for researching schools that have reevaluated the use of test scores in making admission decisions.

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