George Washington University will no longer require that students submit their ACT or SAT scores for most freshman admissions. The dean of admissions at the DC university says administrators were concerned that below-average test scores were leading otherwise strong students to not apply. "Although we have long employed a holistic application review process, we had concerns that students who could be successful at GW felt discouraged from applying if their scores were not as strong as their high school performance," she says. "We want outstanding students from all over the world and from all different backgrounds—regardless of their standardized scores—to recognize GW as a place where they can thrive."
The National Center for Fair and Open Testing says more than 125 private colleges and universities featured in US News and World Report rankings now have test-optional admission policies. The change for George Washington University was recommended by a task force on access and success that university President Steven Knapp formed in early 2014. School officials say testing will still be required for home-schooled applicants, students from high schools that provide only narrative evaluation of students, college athletes, and those applying for a seven-year program that leads to a combined bachelor's/medical degree. The new policy will take effect for students seeking admission for fall 2016. (Read more George Washington University stories.)