Recent NPR and Washington Post articles report that George Washington University will no longer require the SAT or ACT for applicants. GWU, one of the top private universities in the country, expects the move to increase the diversity among its applicants.
Though potentially controversial, viewing entrance exams as optional is not new. In fact, a study published in February 2014 examined optional standardized testing policies and found that these policies offer students greater access to higher education. This finding was especially true among first-generation college students. A PBS article and FairTest also report that nearly 850 higher education institutions consider SAT and ACT optional; however, some of these institutions use entrance exam scores for academic advising or placement, and others require the tests for particular programs of study.