Over 1000 colleges give students the option whether or not to declare their SAT or ACT scores with their college applications. Now the University of California is considering dropping the standardized test requirement for their admissions process at their 9 campuses. This is a highly controversial subject that comes on the heels of the admissions scandal where wealthy families paid proctors to cheat by giving their children unfair advantages.
Requiring SATs or ACTs has 2 problems: (1) These standardized tests do NOT identify students who will do well in college; and (2) Wealthy students who are average or even below average can receive excellent scores when their parents pay thousands of dollars for SAT or ACT private prep tutoring, which makes gives the rich students an unfair advantage over poor students.
The real problem colleges face is determining which students will be successful at their institutions. Grade point averages (GPAs) vary from school to school. In wealthy school districts where classes are taught by teachers who often hold advanced degrees, they often succumb to grade inflation due to an onslaught of demanding parents. On the other hand, in poorer school districts where they struggle to keep good teachers, these teachers burn out quickly when faced with students functioning several grade levels below average and often don’t have the foundation to learn the concepts. An “A” in one school could be a “C” in another.
Maybe the honest way for students to apply to colleges and for colleges to determine whether a student will be successful is to have a college application day where every student in the nation fills out the application form, writes their essays, and organizes their resumes in the school auditorium. Teachers and counselors could assist the students and answer questions as proctor the application day. That way, the colleges evaluate the students based on their own work and all students receive the same support and guidance. Just a thought…