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CSU could eliminate SAT, ACT requirement
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California State University has signaled plans to eliminate the use of standardized tests like the SAT and ACT for admission to its 23 campuses.

California State University trustees heard a recommendation earlier this month from the system’s admissions advisory committee to remove the standardized testing requirement and replace it with a so-called multifactor admission score that allows colleges to consider 21 factors. The Board of Trustees will vote whether to move forward with this plan of action during their March meeting.

“The national movement to eliminate standardized testing has focused on concerns over bias and unfair admission barriers to underrepresented students, including unequal access to pricey test prep,” said Stan State Senior Associate Vice President Communications, Marketing & Media Relations Rosalee Rush. “The CSU System is seeking more equitable ways to assess a student’s potential for college success.”

The new factors would vary by campus and include work experience, leadership roles, extracurricular activities and special status such as foster youth, first-generation or military.

The CSU research team found high school GPA was a much stronger predictor of college readiness than either the SAT or the Smarter Balanced assessment, according to assistant vice chancellor for CSU enrollment management services April Grommo.

If the board officially approves the change in March, CSU will join UC, whose board of regents decided last year that the nine undergraduate campuses would not accept any SAT or ACT scores for admissions.

As of Jan. 11, more than 1,800 colleges and universities have eliminated the SAT or ACT from their admissions requirements, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

The College Board, which owns the SAT, and ACT Inc. are arguing that their tests are valuable tools to help predict college outcomes and any disparate results based on race, income and parents’ educational levels are rooted in long-standing educational inequities in neighborhoods and schools. The College Board this week unveiled an all-digital exam that is shorter, more concise and cheat-proof.