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Admissions Tests Aren't Optional If Considering Financial Aid

As for the admission to colleges and universities for the school year of fall 2022, applicants are given the option of not submitting their test scores. This simply resulted in a rush of applications being sent to universities and colleges all around, but most specifically prestigious and well known schools. Although these schools are no longer looking at your test scores to evaluate your application for admission or denial, it doesn’t make the acceptance process any easier.

The review process now holds even more importance than it did before as students are being

evaluated solely on their grades, GPA, and extracurriculars. This has resulted in acceptance

rates falling to single-digit percentages. Although some schools may have announced it to be a test option as far as admissions, it isn’t really if you are hoping to receive financial aid.

Financial aid and merit scholarships base their rewarding's on test scores. If colleges and universities continue to base their financial aid awards on test scores and GPAs, the optional test is no longer optional. Nearly a century ago, standardized admission tests were thought of as a way to measure intelligence rather than wealth passed through generations. The SAT was marketed as an aptitude exam by James Conant and Henry Chauncey. There were some opposed feelings towards what the test was used to measure and was later found to favor white native English speakers over anyone of color or other origins. This resulted in the majority admission of white Christian men. A student from City College in 1939 had applied to five New York medical schools and was denied from all after having filled ethnic quotas.

In order to overcome this negative and highly biased experience, he started a company to help students prepare for college exams. He was able to prepare the students that came to him for help by teaching them the tricks of the SAT. Coming back to the topic of receiving financial aid and merit scholarships through test scores, a relationship has been noted between those who are able to receive high test scores and receive said merit scholarships.

Those who attended wealthy high schools were either provided with or could afford to hire a private tutor, therefore resulting in better test scores than that of what a low-income student could have. Because wealth has been seen to play a big part in college admissions and financial aid awards as far as being able to receive extra help if needed, research in the 2000s showed that high school grades predict better college success than test scores would.

For schools that have decided to become test-optional, underrepresented racial and ethnic groups have been recorded to increase within the past year as attendees. Overall, while making test scores optional for college admissions may help underrepresented groups as not everyone has the same test preparation opportunities, you may be split from the financial aid opportunities.

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