But last year, students sued the university, with lawyers arguing in court that even voluntary submission of scores would be detrimental, especially for students with disabilities who were largely unable to pass the tests with the accommodations. needed during the coronavirus pandemic – and were therefore denied the opportunity to submit scores.
An Alameda County Superior Court judge granted a preliminary injunction, ruling that the university system was not allowed to factor SAT and ACT scores into admissions decisions, even though testing was optional.
The University of California complied with the ruling, but strongly disagreed and filed an appeal, a spokeswoman said in a statement. At the same time, the university system explored the possibility of a settlement “that would bring certainty to students and their families, counselors and high schools,” the statement said. The parties reached an agreement, which was approved by the University of California’s Board of Regents on Thursday, the university said.
The regulations provide that the university, if it chooses a new exam for admission in the future, “will consider the access of students with disabilities in the design and implementation of such an exam.” He also says the university system will pay more than $ 1.2 million to student lawyers.
More than half of the nation’s four-year colleges and universities have rejected the ACT or SAT for admission in fall 2021, according to FairTest, a group that pushed to end testing requirements. That means 1,240 institutions – including top universities like Brown, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, University of Virginia, and Yale – are optional for testing. Some of those same schools, including the University of Virginia, have expanded their elective test admissions beyond fall 2021.
University of California SAT and ACT scores can now only be used for the sole purpose of meeting English requirements, course placement, or post-student counseling – if applicants choose to submit them, the university said.
Critics of the ACT and SAT have expressed concern that the tests disadvantage poorer students, citing decades of data indicating that they are inherently biased in favor of affluent, white and Asian-American students. . They also say the tests are too easy to play by students who can pay thousands of dollars for private coaching and test preparation.