California State University drops SAT, ACT requirements for admissions

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The California State University system has dropped its requirement for standardized SAT and ACT tests for undergraduate admissions, officials said Wednesday.

CSU’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Title 5 Amendment to California’s Code of Regulations, which removes the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate admissions at its 23 campuses in California, CSU said. CSU officials in a statement on Wednesday. CSU is home to 477,000 students and is the largest four-year public higher education system in the United States, officials said.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order authorizing the CSU system to relax admissions criteria for applicants through June 2021, and CSU suspended the use of standardized tests for university studies 2021-22 and 2022-23. years “due to the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to mitigate the adverse effects for potential applicants,” CSU officials said in the statement.

CSU’s decision to eliminate standardized testing comes after the University of California system decided in 2021 to permanently remove testing requirements as part of admissions, including the ACT and SAT exams. After the university system eliminated testing requirements, a record number of applicants from diverse backgrounds applied to attend UC institutions, UC officials said last month.

Opponents of the longstanding testing requirements have said they discriminate against low-income students and students of color who may not be able to access and pay for exam prep courses and are not able to pass tests several times.

Acting CSU Chancellor Steve Relyea said in a statement Wednesday that eliminating testing as part of admissions criteria was part of the university system’s “ongoing efforts to level the playing field and provide a better access to a high quality university degree to students from all backgrounds. ”

“Essentially, we are eliminating our reliance on a high-stress, high-stakes test that has shown negligible benefit and providing our candidates with greater opportunities to demonstrate their drive, talents, and potential for academic success. “, said Relyea.

CSU officials said the system’s Admissions Advisory Board — which is made up of faculty, administrators and students — began reviewing the use of the ACT and SAT exams in spring 2021 and found that standardized testing “brings negligible additional value to the CSU admissions process.”

The board recommended in January to permanently end the CSU exam requirement, CSU officials said.

Lauren Hernández (her) is a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: lauren.hernandez@sfchronicle.comTwitter: @ByLHernandez

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