Test Optional - Frequently Asked Questions
According to the organization, FairTest.org, as of fall 2011, nearly 850 four-year colleges do not use the SAT I or ACT to admit substantial numbers of bachelor degree applicants. Many of the colleges and universities on Saint Rose’s cross-applicant list no longer require standardized tests.
In response to the institution’s Strategic Plan, the Admissions and Retention Management Committee devoted 2011-2012 time and attention to consideration of SAT/ACT Test-Optional Admission policy. While many institutions have made the decision to go “test optional”, the Committee agreed to consider all implications only in relation to how the change would impact Saint Rose. The issue of whether to require standardized tests in admission decisions is also part of an ongoing national conversation about validity and fairness in college admission and the Committee felt strongly that Saint Rose should consider the question on a local level.
Test-optional institutions have decided that factors other than test scores are stronger predictors of a student’s potential to succeed in college. Studies validated national research that the best predictor of a student’s success in college is the rigor of college preparatory courses taken in high school. Research also suggests that standardized test scores are closely correlated with family income.
After a review of national and institutional data, Committee faculty noted that a test-optional admission policy supports fairness in two directions:
- It will allow the College to better and more clearly capture a larger, qualified set of the (college-going) population.
- Introduces the question of assessing fairness in decision-making in a multidimensional way. Faculty members were also convinced about the discriminatory effects of using standardized testing in college admissions.
- The NCAA mandates the submission of standardized test scores for athletic eligibility. Therefore, athletes will be required to submit SAT/ACT scores with their application.
- International students will be required to submit either SAT or ACT results or the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
- Students who are homeschooled will be required to submit results of either the SAT/ACT exam.
All research (including our internal studies) prove that performance in rigorous college-preparatory high schools is the best predictor of academic success in college, therefore, we will continue to place the most evaluative weight on the level and success in college-preparatory courses taken. We will also consider recommendations from teachers along with co- and extra-curricular activities.
With the help of staff in Institutional Research along with faculty who are assisting with the research and analysis, the Admissions and Retention Management Committee will review the first-year performance of students who submit scores versus those who do not. The Admissions and Retention Management Committee members will assess students’ individual and group performance by School and major, along with other cohort groups that are strategically important to the shape of the college’s enrolled student body.
On the Saint Rose admission application, or the Saint Rose Supplement to the Common Application, each applicant indicates whether they want their standardized test scores to be considered for admission. If a student changes their mind about consideration of their test scores after they have submitted their application, the student must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating their desire regarding use of their standardized test scores.
Once a student submits their application and states they do not want their tests reviewed for admission, they may only submit scores for merit scholarship consideration no later than May 1st. Those scores will not be considered for admission to the college.
Students who would like to retract their test scores from The College of Saint Rose must provide a written request either emailed to email@example.com or mailed to: The College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Ave., Albany, NY 12203 Attn: Undergraduate Admissions.