PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Students applying for freshman admission to any of Oregon’s seven public universities and Oregon Health & Science University will not have to submit SAT or ACT scores, starting with fall term 2021, according to officials.

Applicants will have the option of submitting their scores, but it will not be required. Officials say the decision mirrors similar moves at universities and colleges across the country.

“More than 1,000 four-year universities and colleges, including almost 400 top-tier four-year universities and colleges, have either abandoned standardized testing altogether or now provide students the option to take such tests,” according to Oregon State University. “These changes follow decades of research regarding the contribution of standardized admissions tests in accurately predicting a student’s academic success once in college.”

The changes benefits students applying to schools including:

  • Eastern Oregon University
  • Portland State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Southern Oregon University
  • University of Oregon
  • Western Oregon University

It also benefits applicants applying to undergraduate nursing programs offered by OHSU. EOU, WOU, Oregon Tech, SOU, and OHSU had previously allowed students the option of not submitting test results.

“Standardized tests add very little to our ability to predict an individual student’s success at a university or college,” Jon Boeckenstedt, vice provost for enrollment management at Oregon State University, said, noting that evidence also exists that standardized test results might not be inclusive. “I have seen clear patterns that – when weighted heavily in the admissions process – standardized tests provide admissions advantages to students who are already advantaged, including students from higher income families.”

Chuck Knepfle, vice president of enrollment management at Portland State University, said the universities’ decision to allow students applying for admission the option to provide standardized test results is in keeping with the reason Oregon’s public universities were founded.

“We were founded – and exist today – to serve learner needs,” Knepfle said. “We believe that by establishing the national precedent of a state-wide commitment to move to test-optional, we are moving Oregon forward toward its 40-40-20 educational attainment goal."

Education officials did not indicate that this decision had anything to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

More information on Oregon’s public universities choosing to become test optional in undergraduate admissions is posted to the admissions office website of each university.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(1) comment


Won't make any difference. A large number of those going to college will major in something that will not produce a worthwhile job. But, the schools don't care about education, just money. Most degrees can be obtained with two years of school. The extra is just to gain income for the colleges so they can keep overpaid professors on their staff.

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