by Sara Calvert-Kubrom, former admissions officer at Lewis & Clark College
After over a year of evolving changes and news out of California, a legal settlement concluded on Friday, May 14, that the University of California system cannot consider SAT or ACT scores for students applying through spring of 2025. This settlement concludes the 2019 lawsuit filed against the UCs due to concerns about the disproportionate disadvantage of standardized testing for students with disabilities and many low-income, Black, and Latinx students.
What does this mean? The SAT and ACT will not be used in the admission or merit scholarship review process for applicants to any UC campus. The UC admission website does note, though, that students who choose to submit test scores as part of their application can later use those scores “as an alternative method of fulfilling minimum requirements for eligibility or for course placement” after they enroll. But those scores will not be considered by the application readers making admission decisions. With the absence of test scores, the UCs will continue their holistic application review process and, like other test optional/test free colleges, they will closely evaluate academic readiness through evaluation of classes, grades, rigor, and academic trends during a student’s high school career.
As mentioned in our past articles about UC testing policies, we don’t yet know what will happen after spring of 2025, but we will continue to monitor testing policies closely in the coming years.