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UNE scraps SAT/ACT scores for most applicants

May 17, 2020

Biddeford — During the upcoming academic year (2020-21), the University of New England will pilot a test-blind policy for undergraduate admissions under which most applicants’ SAT and ACT scores will not be considered among criteria for college acceptance.

The policy is an expansion of the university’s current test-optional policy, launched in 2018, which resulted in the largest and most ethnically diverse freshman class in UNE history without any reduction in academic quality, according to a press release.

The new test-blind policy will be adopted, in part, because of statistical evidence that standardized test scores are not a reliable indicator of how undergraduate students will perform in college and, in part, because the coronavirus pandemic has complicated administration of the tests.

Both winter and spring administrations of the SAT and ACT have been canceled, and it is not yet clear when students will be able to take these tests. Moreover, the release said census data reveals only 77% of households in the U.S. (80.7% in Maine) have the broadband internet capabilities that would be required to take the online versions, according to the release.

According to the release, the University of New England is only the fourth institution of higher education in the U.S. to implement a test-blind policy. “Our research has shown that a student’s performance in high school is the most significant predictor of academic success at UNE,” admissions Vice President Scott Steinberg said. “Standardized tests provide very little — if any — incremental value beyond the high school record and grade point average.”

UNE’s test-blind policy will go into effect for the 2020-21 admissions cycle and will pertain to students who plan to begin college in the spring and fall of 2021. While some exceptions to the policy apply, as outlined on UNE’s Undergraduate Admissions webpage, all excepted groups, aside from some international students, will be able to choose whether they submit test scores.

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