Colleges that have altered their admissions testing policies: Their rationale, process and results. A case study of four colleges

Kenneth Edward Hartman, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Within the past two decades, eight collegiate institutions (four-year) have modified their admissions testing policy to permit applicants the option of not submitting Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores when applying for admission. The reasons for the change vary from one institution to the next, as do the succeeding/new admissions requirement.^ This study examined the rationale and process used by four collegiate institutions when changing their admissions testing policy, making the SAT optional. Structured interviews with institutional policy makers, as well as pertinent internal documents, were used to determine the extent of faculty involvement in the decision making process and to evaluate the longitudinal affects on admissions and enrollment at each institution.^ The results of the study suggests that students who elected not to submit SAT scores tended to be admitted at a lower rate than students who elected to submit scores, yet nonsubmitters matriculate at a higher rate than submitters; nonsubmitters, as a cohort, performed nearly as well academically in their first year as submitters; ethnic minorities and women tended to elect not to submit scores at a higher rate than male and majority students; and increases and decreases in the total number of applications received by the four institutions in the three years prior to and after the SAT-optional policy was implemented tended to mirror application trends at each institution's two primary competitor colleges with an SAT requirement.^ Based on the findings, the study offers several possible implications and recommendations for senior policy-makers who are considering a change to their institution's admissions testing policy. ^

Subject Area

Education, Tests and Measurements|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Kenneth Edward Hartman, "Colleges that have altered their admissions testing policies: Their rationale, process and results. A case study of four colleges" (January 1, 1994). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI9503973.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI9503973

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