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Nichols College in Dudley, MA, has joined a growing number of colleges responding to criticism about the fairness of SAT scores. For the first time, high school students applying for fall 2012 enrollment at Nichols do not have to submit SAT test scores if they have a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
“The SAT Optional track is designed to reward students who have demonstrated solid academic achievement in the classroom during their high school years,” says Director of Admissions Paul Brower.
The SAT Reasoning Test, owned, published and developed by the College Board, is falling out of favor. Critics say that the test is unfair to minorities and harms American educational priorities and practices. The College Board states that the SAT measures writing and literacy skills which are essential for academic success in college.
The current test, which takes under four hours to complete and costs $49, consists of three major sections: Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing. Each section receives a score on the scale of 200–800 with the total score calculated by adding up scores of the three sections. Typically, SATs are taken by high school sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Working to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing’s website lists 850 four-year, U.S. colleges that have SATs as optional. It lists Nichols College and 22 other Massachusetts colleges, including: WPI, College of the Holy Cross, Assumption, Hampshire College, Wheaton College and Smith College.
Vice President for Enrollment & Marketing Thomas Cafaro notes: “With SATs optional, our staff is able to get admissions decisions to students in a more timely and efficient manner, enhancing the enrollment process for prospective students and their families.”