Missing The Expected Impact
Career College Central summary:
Many in higher education believe that test-optional admissions policies –- when colleges and universities do not require applicants to submit standardized test scores — boost enrollment of low-income students and underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans). A new study, however, challenges this conventional wisdom. An article published last week in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis argues that a college’s adoption of test-optional policies does not increase the proportion of low-income and African-American, Latino and Native American students who enroll. Instead, such policies benefit the institution.
The study examined 180 selective liberal arts colleges, 32 of which had adopted test-optional policies between 1992 and 2010. It compared colleges with test-optional policies against colleges that required test scores.
The report found that between 1992 and 2010, test-optional institutions did not see any more gains in low-income enrollment (measured by the proportion of Pell Grant recipients) than test-requiring institutions did. Nor did test-optional institutions see larger gains, on average, in the proportion of black, Latino and Native American students they enrolled.
Andrew Belasco, one of the study’s authors, said the findings surprised him and his colleagues.
“We went into the study thinking that we would absolutely find that some of these policies would make a difference in terms of bringing underrepresented students to campus,” Belasco said. “These policies, at the end of the day, do little to promote greater access.”
Click through for full article content.
INSIDE HIGHER EDUCATION