For the high school class of 2021 applying to colleges that are test-optional or test-blind, may be more the rule than the exception. With more than half of all four year colleges and universities test optional for admissions in the fall of 2021, it was time for a change.
With many difficulties in taking standardized tests in the spring and summer of 2020, more and more schools, starting with the University of California and extending across the Ivy League, have said that they will not require and, in some cases, consider these exams. Some colleges have indicated that this may be a one year exception, others are extending it to further high school classes and perhaps beyond.
US News and World Report will include test blind schools in their rankings
Now US News and World Report is including schools in their rankings that are test blind. For many years these schools were excluded from the overall rankings and categorized as “Unranked.” But the magazine points out that it cannot predict what the testing requirements will be at many universities beyond next year so it is making this change.
The lists have always included schools that were test-optional and will continue to do so. But the new guides means that, “The big impact of this change in the rankings is the addition of around 205 schools, or a 14% increase in the number of ranked schools.” We will first see these changes in the 2021 lists that are published in September 2020.
There is no doubt that the difficulties in test taking this spring and summer have led to this change but US News also notes that, “Why is U.S. News making this change? Because prospective students and their families want to know the academic quality of all schools, including ones that do not make use of standardized test scores. Also, in recent years a large number of colleges have changed their application requirements regarding the SAT and ACT.”