SAT requirement losing appeal

Aug. 31, 2006 at 9:00 AM

NEW YORK, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- More U.S. liberal arts colleges are dropping their admission requirements using SAT scores.

A New York Times report says more than a fourth of the top 100 liberal arts colleges rated by U.S. News & World Report have made admissions exams optional and more are following suit.

The report says college officials feel tests such as SAT or ACT are not the best way to predict performance.

"Test scores are a much weaker predictor of how students will do in college than their high school transcript," Mark Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith, told the Times.

Other admissions officers see the test as a barrier to low-income students and those who do not speak English at home. They also say these test scores favor wealthy students who are able to spend thousands of dollars on tutoring.

But College Board, which administers the SAT, sees no real threat. "Even if half of the best small schools in America go test-optional, it's a minimal number of students," Board President Gaston Caperton told the newspaper.

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