George Washington University announced on Monday it will no longer require students take the SAT or ACT to gain admission to the university, making it the largest college to make the move away for standardized testing. The policy will go into effect on Aug. 1 and will apply to all students other than a few exceptions, such as recruited athletes and homeschooled students.
“The announcement from the private university in the nation’s capital underscores a growing belief in some college admission circles that standardized tests are a barrier to recruiting disadvantaged students,” according to the Washington Post. “While that view is sharply debated, many say it is possible to assemble a strong class without forcing applicants to submit a score from tests that critics say are culturally biased and often fail to reflect academic potential.”
GW is not the first college to end the standardized testing requirement; according to a Washington Post tally, there are some 180 public and private colleges in the U.S. News & World Report rankings that have made a similar shift, including Wake Forest University, Wesleyan, Bryn Mawr, and Temple University. Smaller liberal arts colleges have been more willing than larger state-run institutions to offer students the option to skip standardized testing; of the report’s top 25 universities, all still require the SAT or ACT to gain admission.