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EWU stops requiring SAT scores for admission – permanently

UPDATED: Mon., May 18, 2020

Eastern Washington University students are reflected in a window on the Cheney campus April 12, 2019. Students seeking admission to EWU will not have to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications, the school announced Monday. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Eastern Washington University students are reflected in a window on the Cheney campus April 12, 2019. Students seeking admission to EWU will not have to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications, the school announced Monday. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Students seeking admission to Eastern Washington University will never again have to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications, the school announced Monday.

EWU and other local universities previously said they would temporarily waive their standardized testing requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has prevented hundreds of thousands of American high school students from taking the SAT.

On Monday, EWU said that change is now permanent – a decision aimed at easing the stress and complexity of applying to college, while prioritizing long-term academic success over onetime test scores.

“Tests don’t always prove helpful in our ability to predict how well a student will succeed in college,” Jens Larson, EWU’s associate vice president for enrollment, said in a statement. “Evidence tends to suggest the hard work students do in high school is just as predictive.”

Standardized tests also add to the expense of applying to college, often costing more than application fees.

“We also see ample evidence that standardized tests can give advantages to students who already have advantages, like coming from a high-income family or attending a wealthier school district,” Larson said.

EWU and Evergreen State College are the only public four-year universities in Washington that have made tests optional. Nationwide, more than 1,000 colleges and universities have done away with the requirement.

Students may still choose to submit test scores as part of their applications to EWU, but those scores won’t be considered when the university awards merit-based scholarships.

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