Why “test optional” is overrated when it comes to equity – The Michigan Daily – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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Harvard University recently announced an extension of their test-optional policy, which allows applicants to forgo submitting scores on the dreaded SAT or ACT. The policy, first implemented last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will remain in effect until 2026. Though the University of Michigan has yet to decide whether they will follow suit, it is not unreasonable to suggest that administrators are considering the idea. 

Constructing an argument against the consideration of standardized testing in U-M applications is simple. Our student body does not mirror the racial makeup of the state of Michigan. As a public university, one of our institution’s fundamental goals is to serve Michigan residents. Analysis from the Brookings Institution indicates that the large gap in SAT test scores between different racial groups can be explained by family income, racially-related test anxiety and lack of adequate preparation. They also cite research that finds high school GPA predicts college success more accurately than an SAT score. Because SAT scores influence where students apply, are accepted and how much financial aid they receive, this gap perpetuates the underrepresentation of some racial


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