Six Years Ago, Bryn Mawr College Opted Out of Requiring SAT/ACT Exams; What Happened Next?

bryn mawr college
Image via Facebook.
Bryn Mawr College.

A 2015 experiment at Bryn Mawr College removed required SAT/ACT test scores from the admissions policy. Maya Rodriguez of WPTV, West Palm Beach, Florida, reported the results.

Tests became optional, with a “holistic review” offered to non-takers, according to Cheryl Lynn Horsey, Bryn Mawr College chief enrollment officer.

The trial yielded a corps of Montgomery County students no more or no less likely to succeed than before. And class demographics that were noticeably more diverse.

The removal of a cost barrier was theorized as motivating minority students, who may have struggled with fees for test prep classes and the tests themselves.

“Underrepresented groups, such as African American, Hispanic, Latinx, Pacific Islander and Native American — they weren’t necessarily even looking at our schools because they felt like they wouldn’t get in,” Horsey noted.

Absent a test to get in, additional students decided to try.

And once admitted, test-less undergrads behaved much like those in the No.-2-pencil, circle-darkening group. Retention rates remained level. And four-year time frames to sheepskins did as well.

Also, 80 percent of faculty want to make the option permanent.

More detail on the Bryn Mawr College policy on SAT/ACT tests is at WPTV.


More research on academic policies of SATs/ACTs.

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