CINCINNATI — Xavier University will no longer require undergraduate applicants to submit their SAT or ACT scores, the university announced Tuesday.
Prospective undergrads who “have a strong academic record” demonstrated by high grades but who don’t have test scores that reflect their academic performance will not be required to send their scores.
“One single item does not determine admissibility, and a test-optional policy allows students to demonstrate their abilities in other ways,” said Aaron Meis, Xavier’s vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Success.
The SAT and the ACT are timed tests of high school students’ math, science and English language skills.
Xavier sophomore Johnny Klar agrees with the school’s new policy, saying it gives people an opportunity to show off more than just a test score.
“Some people are just bad test takers, and so if you have a 3.9 GPA and do poorly on the ACT, you’re not freaking out because those grades didn’t correlate,” he said.
It’s a change Xavier sophomore Josie Schlangan also welcomes. Like many incoming college students, she considered finances a major factor in selecting a university.
“I felt like I needed to do better just because of the financial aspect, because college is expensive and we’re just trying to survive out here,” she said.
That pressure can put a strain on students striving for higher test scores to earn more lucrative scholarships.
Klar believes the pressure of a good score is also coupled by the cost of the tests themselves and the cost of tutoring.
“It adds more stress if you’re paying money to take this test, and it doesn’t really prove what you’re worth,” he said.
More than 1,000 colleges and universities have adopted a test-optional policy similar to Xavier's, including the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash and Clermont programs, according to The National Center for Fair and Open Testing.
The Center also reports that Xavier is one of the first higher education institutions in the area not to require standardized test scores for admission.
School officials said that prospective students who still wish to submit their scores may. Klar thinks it’s still worthwhile for high schoolers to take the test.
“I feel like if you have a test that really you do excel on you might as well throw it in there because it proves more of what you offer,” he said.