A new study finds “no significant differences” between the college grades and completion rates of students who submit ACT or SAT scores with their college applications and those who do not. A more reliable predictor of academic success, the research concludes, is students’ high school grades.
The report analyzed data for 123,000 students who enrolled in 33 colleges that do not require applicants to submit test scores from college-entrance exams. It includes a diverse swath of public and private four-year schools representing 5 percent of the postsecondary institutions with such policies.
The report, published last week on the National Association for College Admission Counseling website, was coauthored by William Hiss, a professor and former dean of admissions at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and Valerie Franks, a former assistant dean of admissions at Bates. Bates is among the schools with a test-optional admissions policy.
The study also notes that students who choose not to submit test scores are more likely to be the first in their families to go to college, women, minorities, recipients of need-based financial aid, and students with learning disabilities.
A version of this article appeared in the February 26, 2014 edition of Education Week as College-Entrance Testing