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Goucher Goes Test-Optional in Admissions Process

Release date: August 14, 2007

Goucher College has announced a test-optional admissions policy that will go into effect for the 2008-09 academic year.

Under the new policy, prospective students now will decide whether to report their scores from standardized tests — such as the SAT Reasoning Test and ACT with writing — when applying for first-year admission.

While students can elect not to submit test scores for use as a factor in determining admission, they must submit SAT or ACT results to be considered for merit funding. Additionally, all students who enroll must submit test scores prior to matriculation for placement, academic counseling, and research purposes.

The selection process at Goucher is highly individualized, and members of the admissions committee pay particularly close attention not only to students’ academic development, but also to their personal qualities, talents, interests, and extracurricular involvement—qualifications that may not be reflected in a standardized test score.

Goucher’s decision to go test-optional reflects an increasing body of research indicating that the SAT and ACT exams are no better at forecasting college performance than high school grades and achievement tests in specific subjects. Additionally, some critics say the SATs put minority and low-income students at a disadvantage. So far, about 740 of the nation’s 2,400 colleges and universities have chosen not to require standardized test scores from all students.