Updated: May 24
University Of California Eliminates The SAT And ACT While Hundreds Of Colleges & Universities Stay Test-Optional
The University of California will no longer use standardized test scores to evaluate undergraduate applicants for admissions. The most prestigious public university system in the nation with a total of 226,000 undergrads on nine campuses, UC signed a settlement last week in a 2019 lawsuit.
The plaintiffs, a coalition of students, argued that the tests illegally discriminated against applicants based on race, wealth, and disability and denied them equal protection under California’s constitution. The tests spawned a test-prep industry that favored affluent families, they contended.
With the suit pending, in May 2020 the California system’s governing board voted to phase out the tests. It would adopt a test-optional policy for two years and then stop using the tests altogether. “These tests are extremely flawed and very unfair,” said Board of Regents member and lieutenant governor Eleni Kounalakis at the time. “Enough is enough.” The board said that UC would study the possibility of developing its own admission test.
Then in August, a state court judge issued a preliminary order in the suit. It barred UC from considering test scores during the pandemic, primarily because students with disabilities were not able to take tests with the necessary accommodations since so many exam centers had shut down and test dates canceled.
The judge also ruled in favor of the plaintiffs’ request that test scores not be used to determine eligibility for scholarships.
UC appealed the ruling and lost. The settlement makes permanent the policy laid out in the initial ruling.