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Some San Diego colleges shift to 'test blind' policy, eliminating need for SATs

SAT drops plans for home exam amid internet access concerns
Posted at 4:08 PM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 19:08:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Some local colleges are shifting toward a new policy of getting rid of standardized test scores as an admissions requirement.

The University of San Diego is one of 60 other colleges, including local Cal State and University of California campuses, now using the "test blind" policy amid a pandemic-altered high school experience and education.

The SAT has been something on Laila Ellyse's mind for some time now. She says part of her concern recently has been COVID-19-related restrictions on testing group sizes.

"You've been hearing about it for such a long time you have to take the SAT, it's like this big bad test," Ellyse said. "The number of seats available at any given test site is now reduced because of social distancing and all of those kinds of things."

Ellyse says she had to go all the way to Utah to take the test because there were no testing site options in California.

Standardized testing has also become increasingly debate following the nationwide college admissions scandal, in which several parents were charged with paying to get their kids admitted to top tier colleges.

That's part of the reason USD is now a test blind campus. While SAT or ACT scores can be admitted, they'll be ignored for admission.

Instead, college officials will consider other factors including high school academic record and GPA, letters of recommendation, admission essays, extra-curricular involvement, work experiences, and family responsibilities.

USD says it hopes the new policy will make the admissions process fair and equitable for all students and allow lower-income students who may face barriers to accessing testing an even playing field.

The test blind policy may not be permanent though. UCSD is test-optional until 2022 and test blind until 2024. San Diego State and local CSU campuses are test blind for 2021 only at the moment.