Colleges and Universities That Go Test Optional Tend to Increase Racial Diversity

There are now more than 1,000 colleges and universities that do not require student applicants to submit standardized test scores. A new report from the National Council on College Admission Counseling finds colleges and universities who do not require standardized tests often see a rise in applicants. The study also finds that becoming test optional can also lead to more diversity in the applicant pool and in students accepted for admission.

The authors studied admissions and academic performance of more than 950,000 students at 28 public and private institutions that no longer require standardized test scores. The data showed that 35 percent of Black or African American students chose not to submit test scores, compared to just 18 percent of White applicants. The study also found that students who did not submit test scores were admitted at a lower rate than students who did submit scores.

But the report shows that colleges and universities that do not require students to submit test scores tended to enroll and graduate more students from traditionally underrepresented groups. Roughly two-thirds of the study’s test-optional institutions experienced growth in enrollments of students from underrepresented groups above that of matched test-requiring peer institutions.

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