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The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint


Changes in the College Application Process

Test Scores & Affirmative Action
Gabi Navarra
Senior Destination 2/3

During the pandemic, many colleges  stopped requiring applicants to submit standardized test scores. But recently, more and more colleges are abandoning these test-optional policies. 

According to Requiring Standardized Test Scores for Admissions by Stephanie Saul of The New York Times, in February of this year, Yale University announced that it would now require standardized test scores, after not requiring SAT and ACT results. Yale, Dartmouth College, MIT, and Georgetown University made this same choice in February. This is because colleges believe test scores are the best predictor of a student’s academic performance. 

Opportunity Insights reported on a Harvard study that examined test scores to determine if they are truly the top indicator of college success. Comparing students within the same race, gender, and income level, students with the highest possible test score (1600 SAT or 36 ACT) achieve a first-year college GPA that is .43 points higher than someone with a 1200 SAT and ACT score of 25, which is in the 75th percentile of test takers.

Since 2020, students at these schools in this analysis who haven’t submitted their standardized test scores achieve relatively lower college GPAs. Their performance can be compared to students with a 1307 SAT score or 28 ACT score.

High school GPA is inconsistent when predicting academic success in college

Based on an article in the Washington Post on March 18, requiring test scores changes how students will prepare for college. People will now need to recalculate where they’ll apply for college and which colleges will be more likely to accept them. This creates anxiety and test pressure. 

For students who work with college advisors either in or outside of school, they now review with students not only the colleges but also their test rules and requirements. Colleges are becoming more competitive. Since they have more data to look at, high test scores would only benefit students and their chances of getting in.

Popular colleges that are continuing to be test-optional are Columbia University, University of Chicago, and Wake Forest University. There are also colleges that are test-blind. This means that SAT and ACT scores are not considered during the admissions process, even if they’re included in the application. These colleges include the University of California schools, Hampshire College, and Washington State University. Although the number of these colleges is growing, this policy is very rare.

Along with the change in test scores, the Supreme Court ruled the end of the use of race-based affirmative action. This means that universities can not consider race as a factor in admissions. Since the abolishment of affirmative action, this decision makes it more difficult to maintain a diverse admitted class. With this being taken away, colleges now include essay prompts on adversity and identity.

College GPA and test scores are directly correlated, even when comparing students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Supreme Court ended the use of affirmative action by a vote of 6-3. The justices ruled that the admission programs used by the University of North Carolina and Harvard violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause, which bans racial discrimination by the government.

Students finding the correct fit for their colleges is very important. When looking at a college, students should research the test requirements and averages for that college. Students can meet with their guidance counselors to learn more about the college application process. 

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About the Contributor
Tessa Gebauer
Tessa Gebauer, Editor/Writer/Reporter
Hey! My name is Tessa Gebauer, and I am a sophomore in the class of 2026. This is my second year on the PawPrint. I am thrilled to contribute and create new articles on the PawPrint. This includes writing about sports, staff, and news going on in Morgan. I play tennis here at Morgan, and I am in the Interact Club. 

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