Counselors Advise Students to take the SAT, despite colleges opting out

Counselors Advise Students to take the SAT, despite colleges opting out

Since the 1920s, the SAT has been an essential part of applying to colleges nationwide, however, some colleges have been following the trend of not requiring the SAT.

Almost 1000 colleges and universities no longer require the SAT, or its counterpart, the ACT, in order to apply to their schools, according to The New York Times. In Maryland in particular, St. Johns and George Washington university are now following this new trend.

Colleges are making this change to increase enrollment of underrepresented student groups, who are consistently scoring lower on standardized tests like the SAT, which is keeping them from entering selective colleges.

According to Laurie Kohler, the head of enrollment at George Washington University, “The test-optional policy should strengthen and diversify an already outstanding applicant pool and will broaden access for those high-achieving students who have historically been underrepresented at selective colleges and universities, including students of color, first-generation students and students from low-income households.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, a correlation between high income and high SAT scores exists. In other words, making the tests optional should allow underrepresented student groups to enroll in college more than before.

However, for most students, taking the SAT or ACT is still the way to go because a majority of schools still require the test. Many local universities for example such as the University of Maryland College Park still require the SAT.

Mr. Scott, guidance counselor, still advises students to take the SAT or ACT, despite the recent changes for some schools.

“It’s good to keep your doors open,” advises Mr. Scott “Those tests aren’t perfect, but they are the best way to measure college preparedness. Even if we’re seeing a lot of this growing trend, it still isn’t universal and that’s important to keep in mind.”