MANSFIELD, Conn. — UConn officials announced Wednesday that for the next three application periods, the university will pilot a test-optional undergraduate admissions process.
According to a release, the administration was already considering the new process, but the coronavirus pandemic added momentum to reasoning.
Officials say the underlying issues, including high school students currently having varied access to e-learning, preparation for the SAT and ACT, and conducive testing environments contributed to the pilot launch.
The pilot will study whether the policies influence its student success rates and increase accessibility to talented students who otherwise face barriers associated with the tests, university officials said in a release.
The test-optional applications process will begin with students applying to enter as undergraduates in Fall of 2021.
UConn's administration notes that standardized test results may be submitted if a students chooses, but their admissions decision will not be impacted if they are not provided.
“UConn has always prided itself on the holistic review, which never has relied on a single data point in the evaluation of applicants," UConn Director of Undergraduate Admissions Vern Granger said. "With the move to test-optional, we feel that applicants will now have the confidence to present themselves in the best way possible, without the fear of misevaluation due to not performing as well as they hoped on the SAT or ACT.”
The university says it's following over 70 higher education institutions nationwide that have also announced this spring that they are adopting pilot or permanent test-optional policies.
According to UConn's release, officials have been studying the issue internally for the past several years.
Findings suggested while students who score very highly on the SAT and ACT tend to be successful at very high levels, the scores are not correlated to success at other ranges, officials said.
Spring dates for college admissions tests are being rescheduled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The College Board said it "will continue to assess its status, with the health and safety of students and educators" as a priority.