Preparing for College

Higher Education Trends

There has been so much fast-moving action in the college admissions world lately that perhaps you may have missed some of the more significant changes. Keep in mind [Warning: personal commentary ahead] that colleges and universities make changes almost exclusively because those changes will benefit them in some way, rather than the other way around. One exception to that would be the dropping of standardized testing requirements. Currently, there are over 830 higher education institutions that do not require applicants to submit either the SAT or ACT. These are the so-called "test-optional" schools.

The benefit to this change is mutual for the school and the applicants. The school benefits, in most cases, by garnering more applications, which should, in turn, make them appear to be more selective by lowering their overall acceptance rates as they deny a greater percentage of their applicant pools. However, there is also a fairly significant benefit for applicants who may not test well but have strong potential for success in college. When these applicants have a chance to be accepted at a good school (examples to follow below) that does not require the SAT/ACT, they brighten their prospects, not to mention their mental health, by not collecting a pile of thin envelopes in the spring.

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