Should colleges do away with SATs?

Story highlights

  • George Washington University does not require standardized test scores from applicants
  • Stephen Burd, Joanne Zalatoris: A test-optional policy can give colleges a boost in the college rankings game
  • On the other hand, the policy can potentially provide more educational opportunities for lower-income students

Stephen Burd is a senior policy analyst at New America's Education Policy Program. Joanne Zalatoris is a research intern at the program. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the authors.

(CNN)This week, George Washington University announced it is adopting a "test-optional" admissions policy, becoming one of the largest private universities to allow prospective students to opt out of sending ACT or SAT scores.

GW joins other top-rated national universities such as Wake Forest and Brandeis, and national liberal arts colleges such as Bowdoin, Bates and Smith that do not require standardized test scores from applicants.
    Laurie Koehler, senior associate provost for enrollment management at GW, said in the university's news release that going test-optional "will broaden access for those high-achieving students who have historically been underrepresented at selective colleges and universities."
    Stephen Burd