Is taking the SAT to get into college becoming a thing of the past?

During COVID many Texas public universities started test-optional admission policies
Angie Taylor, the Executive Director of recruitment and admissions at Sam Houston State University, joined First News at Four.
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KBTX) - When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, almost all public universities in Texas responded by making SAT or ACT scores optional for college admission. Now, although COVID infections are going down, the majority of schools are keeping these tests optional.

Angie Taylor, the Executive Director of recruitment and admissions at Sam Houston State University, joined First News at Four to discuss why the university has decided to extend the test-optional policy indefinitely.

Even before the pandemic, schools across Texas--including Sam Houston--were discussing making the submission of SAT and ACT scores optional. When the pandemic hit, it disrupted exam cycles, leading many colleges to implement the temporary test-optional approach to freshman admission standards.

In the case of Sam Houston, they allowed first-time freshman applicants a pathway to admission based on their GPA in lieu of the ACT or SAT score, but Taylor clarified that students can still submit their test scores if they would like. This just provides an additional admissions option.

“Either way, we want to provide an opportunity that is best for that student in their high school journey,” explained Taylor.

One of the benefits of including the test-optional policy is that it prevents students from facing financial barriers that exist with testing. There’s not only the cost of the test but also the cost to get help preparing for the test, which low-income students may not have access to.

At “Sam Houston, more than 70% of our population our student population receives financial aid, and that population includes a growing number of at-risk and 1st generation students, so it’s really important for us to support them well throughout the entire enrollment process,” said Taylor.

Taylor also believes this will help limit testing anxiety.

“We really want to support the students well and we don’t want them to get so stressed out during the process so that they can really focus on why they’re coming to college and being successful when they get here, explained Taylor.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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