College & Workforce Readiness

Are More Students Submitting ACT Scores With College Applications?

By Catherine Gewertz — September 13, 2017 1 min read
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College admissions officers are seeing an increase in the number of students who are submitting ACT scores with applications, according to a survey released today.

In its 13th annual survey of admissions officers from 299 colleges and universities, Kaplan found that more students are submitting the ACT than they were a few years ago.

In the telephone poll conducted this summer, fewer admissions officers noticed a similar increase among students submitting both SAT and ACT scores, but those who did found the increase significant, the survey found.

Here’s how the results break down, with questions put to admissions officers, and their characterizations of how big a change they’ve seen:

Compared to three to five years ago, are more applicants submitting scores from the ACT? Yes: 58 percent No: 42 percent How would you describe that increase? Very significant: 16 percent Somewhat significant: 55 percent Not too significant: 30 percent Compared to three years ago, are more applicants submitting scores from BOTH the SAT and ACT? Yes: 48 percent No: 52 percent How would you describe that increase? Very significant: 13 percent Somewhat significant: 59 percent Not too significant: 28 percent

Keep in mind that while the colleges surveyed represent a variety of institutions, they’re drawn from the U.S. News & World Report’s list of top colleges, and may not be a nationally representative sample.

Kaplan has a vested interest in this issue, too: It has a partnership with ACT to offer live, online test preparation to those getting ready to take that college-admissions exam. Kaplan’s survey announcement came with a plug for that test-prep service, which low-income students can use for free.

Kaplan did not ask the admissions officers whether they’d seen an increase in the number of students submitting SAT scores with their applications. It only asked about ACT submissions, and submissions that included both ACT and SAT scores.

As Education Week has reported, ACT overtook the SAT in the last decade as the country’s most popular college admissions test. The two testing companies have been duking it out to see who can grab more statewide (and districtwide) contracts. They’ve each partnered with companies to offer test preparation, ACT with Kaplan, and the College Board with the Khan Academy.

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Photo: Getty Images

A version of this news article first appeared in the High School & Beyond blog.