Colorado Ditches SAT, ACT and Legacy Admissions For Public Colleges

Colorado has become the first state to ban “legacy” admissions, a practice that gives preference to certain applicants based on their familial relationship to alumni of that institution. “The governor also signed a bill that removes a requirement that public colleges consider SAT or ACT scores for freshmen, though the new law still allows students to submit test scores if they wish,” adds NPR. From the report:Both moves are aimed at making higher education access more equitable. According to the legislation, 67% of middle- to high-income students in Colorado enroll in bachelor’s degree programs straight from high school, while 47% of low-income students do. There are also major differences when it comes to race, with white students far more likely to enroll in college.

Legacy admissions have long been a target for reform. In a 2018 survey of admissions directors by Inside Higher Ed, 42% of private institutions and 6% of public institutions said they consider legacy status as a factor in admissions. Some of the nation’s largest public universities do not consider legacy, including both the University of California and the California State University systems. However, private colleges in California have reported using legacy as a way to encourage philanthropic giving and donations.

During the pandemic, many colleges backed off on using SAT and ACT scores in admissions. Research has shown — and lawsuits have argued — that the tests, long used to measure aptitude for college, are far more connected to family income and don’t provide meaningful information about a student’s ability to succeed in college. Wealthier families are also more likely to pay for test prep courses, or attend schools with curricula that focus on the exams.

As found on Slashdot