More schools al­low ap­pli­cants to self-re­port test scores

Yuma Sun - - OPINION -

HART­FORD, Conn. — Yale and Quin­nip­iac uni­ver­si­ties in Con­necti­cut have joined a grow­ing list of schools that have be­gun al­low­ing ap­pli­cants to self-re­port SAT and ACT test scores, rather than re­quir­ing them to sub­mit of­fi­cial re­sults from the or­ga­ni­za­tions that ad­min­is­ter the en­trance ex­ams.

The change will speed up the ap­pli­ca­tion process and al­low stu­dents to ap­ply to mul­ti­ple schools with­out wor­ry­ing about hav­ing to pay fees to have their scores sent to more than just a few schools, said Gre­gory Eich­horn, the vice pres­i­dent for ad­mis­sions at Quin­nip­iac, which an­nounced the change to its ap­pli­ca­tion pol­icy on Thurs­day.

Uni­ver­sity of­fi­cials will ver­ify the scores with the Col­lege Board or ACT only for stu­dents who ac­cept ad­mis­sion and can re­scind the in­vi­ta­tion if they find the scores were falsely sel­f­re­ported.

“We al­ready have to ver­ify their high school grad­u­a­tion,” he said. “It’s the same thing to a cer­tain ex­tent. We can make a pre­lim­i­nary ad­mis­sion de­ci­sion and get the fi­nal of­fi­cial in­for­ma­tion later. The ma­jor­ity of the time it doesn’t vary.”

David Hawkins, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for ed­u­ca­tional con­tent and pol­icy with the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for Col­lege Ad­mis­sion Coun­sel­ing, says the idea has been dis­cussed among high school guid­ance coun­selors and col­lege ad­mis­sions of­fi­cials for about eight years. Many schools be­gan mak­ing the change over the last two years, with more than 110 schools now al­low­ing self-re­ported scores, he said.

“In­ter­nal re­search that in­sti­tu­tions have done seems to show that dis­hon­esty or mis­re­port­ing doesn’t af­fect many ap­pli­ca­tions at all,” he said. “Col­leges have heard what they needed to give them li­cense to en­act this change.”

Yale ran a pilot pro­gram last year and an­nounced the change dur­ing the sum­mer.

“We hope the new pol­icy will re­move a bar­rier for stu­dents for whom send­ing of­fi­cial test scores rep­re­sents a fi­nan­cial bur­den,” the school said in a state­ment. “We also hope it re­duces some work for coun­selors sub­mit­ting of­fi­cial scores on be­half of their stu­dents.”

Maria Al­con-Her­aux, a spokes­woman with the Col­lege Board, which ad­min­is­ters the SAT, said that or­ga­ni­za­tion made a change last year that al­lows low-in­come stu­dents to sub­mit their of­fi­cial test scores for free to an un­lim­ited num­ber of col­leges and has made the en­tire ap­pli­ca­tion process free for those stu­dents who ap­ply to mem­ber schools.

“If you are low-in­come, we re­move as many ob­sta­cles as pos­si­ble for you to ap­ply,” she said.

ACT also al­lows low-in­come stu­dents to send their of­fi­cial re­port for free to as many as 20 schools, said spokesman Ed Colby.

“There is a wide-va­ri­ety of test­ing in­for­ma­tion on that of­fi­cial score re­port that col­leges can use to help place stu­dents in par­tic­u­lar classes, which can avoid ad­di­tional costs as­so­ci­ated with other tests that might be needed to as­sess where a stu­dent is aca­dem­i­cally,” he said.

But Hawkins said low-in­come stu­dents shouldn’t need to prove poverty to re­ceive a fee waiver and be­lieves self-re­port­ing will con­tinue to ex­pand.

“It’s very much an ac­cess is­sue for those stu­dents, but also broadly ap­pli­ca­ble to the pop­u­la­tion as a whole,” he said. “The idea that you might save kids some money is a very im­por­tant one.”

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