Washington State University will no longer require applicants to submit SAT, ACT test scores

PULLMAN, Wash. — Students applying to Washington State University will no longer be required to submit their SAT and ACT scores.

The WSU Board of Regents voted Friday to stop requiring the use of the standardized tests in the admissions process.

“This is the trend,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Chilton. “I think COVID just sort of pushed a number of colleges and universities a little further along because we saw that we were able to make informed decisions without scores.”

The approved plan also states that WSU will no longer use these test scores in the selection process for scholarships, as well as tuition waivers. Chilton said that years of scholarship have demonstrated significant issues of bias with standardized testing. Instead of using these scores, admissions officers will rely on metrics like grade point average, which they believe better reflect a potential student’s ability to succeed.

Chilton shared data with the board that showed both six-year graduation and first-year retention rates are higher for students with a high school GPA above a 3.5 than for a student that scores above 1200 on the SAT.

WSU is just one of many universities moving to eliminate consideration of the SAT and ACT because of implicit cultural bias and persistent inequalities among racial and ethnic groups. A release from the university states that by no longer requiring these test scores, it alleviates the financial and structural barrier to taking the tests in an effort to make WSU a more supportive and inclusive environment.

“I just want to applaud the efforts here,” said Regent Lisa Schauer. “I do think that this is leadership and I think it’s the right way to go. It lives our values and centers equity and I think that’s what we want to continue to do.”