What you need to know about the college admissions landscape

By Huntington Learning Center

The college admissions landscape has evolved in the last two years, and while some colleges and universities dropped their SAT/ACT requirement, others have returned to their normal standardized testing policies. Make sure your student does research each individual institution, and their admission policies. 

About Score Choice 

Taking the SAT/ACT offers an opportunity to strengthen an application even further with a strong score, but your student should make sure they are clear on colleges’ policies on sending scores. Some colleges do not participate in the Score Choice option that allows students to choose which SAT score dates they submit to a college (e.g., their best scores). Your student should confirm each college’s score choice practice. If they do not use the Score Choice feature, the College Board automatically sends all scores to each college where they apply.  

Here are what six well-known colleges across the country have to say about the SAT /ACT and their admissions policies:  

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – In March 2022, MIT announced its decision to reinstate the SAT/ACT requirement for future admission cycles. On their blog, they wrote, “Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants, and also help us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who lack access to advanced coursework or other enrichment opportunities that would otherwise demonstrate their readiness for MIT. We believe a requirement is more equitable and transparent than a test-optional policy.” 
  2. University of Chicago – The University of Chicago is still test optional, but says this of the SAT/ACT: “The SAT, ACT, and other standard measures can continue to be an important part of the University of Chicago’s holistic admission process for students electing to send scores and are a required part of the application process at many other highly selective schools. These tests can provide valuable information about a student which we and other colleges will consider alongside the other elements in a student’s application.” Also: “Given that many of our peers do require testing, we anticipate that the vast majority of students will continue to take tests and may still submit their test scores to UChicago.”
  3. Georgetown University – Georgetown requires testing for admission, saying, “Georgetown University requires submission of SAT and/or ACT scores as part of our holistic application review process. Candidates for admission should submit official score reports from the College Board and/or ACT.”
  4. New York University – NYU is currently test optional but has a unique standardized testing policy that allows applicants to submit one of the following if they so choose: SAT; ACT; International Baccalaureate Diploma; 3 AP Exam scores; 3 IB higher-level exam scores if not an IB Diploma candidate; GCE A-Level Examinations; or other international exam scores. 
  5. University of Texas at Austin – UT Austin says this of submitting SAT/ACT scores: “Students are encouraged to submit SAT/ACT scores, but it is not required. Submitted standardized test scores will serve as one of many elements that are holistically assessed to determine a student’s ability to contribute to and benefit from the UT Austin educational experience.” They add, “Students should provide information in their application that demonstrates their academic potential. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, such as through their essay prompt, high school transcripts, or items like letters of recommendations or standardized ACT or SAT scores.” 
  6. University of Florida – The University of Florida and all colleges within the Florida state university system require SAT/ACT scores. UF says, “All applicants must submit test scores from the SAT and/or the ACT. UF will superscore (take the highest scores for each subsection) to create the highest possible total score.” 

How To Improve Test Scores 

With so many students submitting test scores how can your student stand out amongst other applicants? By submitting the highest score possible! Before your student takes either exam they need to prepare for it! Straight A students sometimes find college entrance exams challenging, Prepping with Huntington can help them improve their scores and increase their chances of acceptance at their college of choice.    

Call Huntington at 1-800 CAN LEARN to learn more about our SAT and ACT prep programs, our tutoring programs for high school students (and students of all ages) and how we can help.