DePaul University. Photo: Richie Diesterheft
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports this week that DePaul University will drop standardized tests as a requirement in a new "student-centered strategy." It is now the largest private college to go test optional. Students who choose not to send scores will submit answers to essay questions instead.
"DePaul's announcement is a reminder that the test-optional label now applies to a diverse mix of colleges," writes Chronicle reporter Eric Hoover. Test-optional policies are "not only for nonselective institutions or small liberal-arts colleges."
The SAT costs $47 this year, with extra for subject-area tests and special services. The lower-priced ACT costs start at $33. If you need the ACT Plus Writing the cost is $48.00. Each has a menu of costs depending on if you want your scores sent to more than four schools, if you need to change your test date or center, etc.
It's common for students to retake the SAT or ACT, or to take them both. You could save an easy hundred if more schools drop the requirement. We'll explore the reasons -- good and bad -- for retaking in an upcoming post.
In the meantime, I leave you with the words of Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president for enrollment management at DePaul. "Test scores are valuable for some things," he says, "but the focus and obsession we have about them as a country is a little bit misplaced, if not a lot misplaced."