The Best Test-Blind Colleges
In this blog post, we will highlight some of the best test-blind colleges in the United States and discuss the benefits of applying to a test-blind institution.
The college admissions process can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for students, especially with the added pressure of standardized testing. However, a growing number of colleges are now adopting test-blind policies, meaning they do not consider SAT or ACT scores as part of their admissions process.
These test-blind colleges are committed to creating a more equitable and inclusive admissions process and are worth considering for students who need to perform better on standardized tests.
What is a test-blind college?
What is a test-blind college? A test-blind college is a college or university that does not consider SAT or ACT scores as part of its admissions process. These institutions do not require applicants to submit their test scores when applying for admission. Instead, they may rely on other factors such as high school transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews to evaluate applicants.
Test-blind policies aim to create a more equitable and inclusive admissions process that does not disadvantage students who may not perform well on standardized tests. Some colleges and universities have adopted test-blind policies to promote diversity and broaden access to higher education for students from different backgrounds.
Another benefit of test-blind colleges is that they allow students to showcase their talents and abilities in other ways. For example, students who may not have done well on standardized tests but have excelled in extracurricular activities, community service, or have a strong GPA, can still be considered for admission. This can provide more opportunities for students.
It’s worth noting that some colleges may still require test scores for specific programs or majors or use them to qualify for scholarships, grants, or other forms of financial aid. However, the admissions process will not be based on test scores.
What are the best test-blind colleges?
What are the best test-blind colleges? The global epidemic has had a direct impact on college admissions in the United States. In 2014, only two institutions adopted test-blind admissions; today, around 1600 universities have done the same by becoming test-blind or test-optional. Simply put, schools and institutions implementing test-blind policies will not consider ACT/SAT scores.
Here are the best test-blind colleges in the United States:
University of California – Berkeley
When determining admission decisions for first-year students, the UC opted not to evaluate applicants’ ACT or SAT scores until at least 2025. The University of California will continue to use a blind application method for admissions. After acceptance, SAT and ACT scores can still be submitted to satisfy the English requirement for course placement or advice.
California Institute of Technology
Caltech will only consider your SAT or ACT scores during the admissions evaluation process. If your test results show on the Coalition, Common, or QuestBridge applications, they will be immediately hidden when submitted to Caltech. In addition, the university no longer requires SAT II results.
Standardized testing, such as the SAT or ACT, is an optional component of the Amherst entrance application for both first-year and transfer students. It is only a small component of their application evaluation procedure, which is why the university declared itself test-blind until the 2024 application cycle.
For the 2020 to 2024 application cycles, the colleges of agriculture and life sciences, architecture, art, and planning, and the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business will not require ACT or SAT scores. The scores of these tests will not be used in the admissions process for these three Cornell campuses.
UCLA will not use SAT or ACT results for admission or scholarship consideration.
If you opt to submit test scores as part of your application, they may be used as an alternative method of meeting minimum eligibility or course placement requirements after you enroll.
Pitzer College is one of the best test-blind colleges in the US. Pitzer College takes a comprehensive approach to student admission, focusing on high school transcripts, recommendation letters, leadership positions, employment history, involvement in school and community organizations, and adherence to Pitzer’s core principles. The College does not administer tests, allowing students to provide application materials that genuinely reflect their academic talents and potential.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
In 2021, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) stated that it would no longer use SAT or ACT results in its admissions procedure. The transition to totally “test-blind” admissions began with the Fall 2021 application cycle and supported WPI’s aim of providing all students with access to high-quality STEM education. The new policy has been approved by the university’s faculty and will be implemented as an eight-year pilot program.
University of San Diego
UC San Diego is a test-free campus and SAT or ACT scores will not influence admissions choices. If you opt to submit test scores as part of your application, they may be used as an alternative method of meeting minimum eligibility or course placement requirements after you enroll.
List of test-blind colleges for the 2023 to 2024 admission cycle
- Alaska Pacific University
- Amberton University
- American Academy of Art College
- Augsburg University
- Boise State University
- California Institute of Technology
- Catholic University
- California Baptist University
- California State University system
- City University of New York system
- Columbia College Chicago
- Dickinson College
- Eastern Washington University
- Fontbonne University
- Hampshire College
- Loyola University New Orleans
- Merrimack College
- Minerva Schools at KGI
- Neumann University
- NewU University
- North Carolina Wesleyan University
- Northern Illinois University
- Northern Michigan University
- Pennsylvania College of Art & Design
- Pitzer College
- Plymouth State University
- Reed College
- St. Mary’s University (Texas)
- Stonehill College
- University of California system
- University of Charleston
- University of Lynchburg
- University of Minnesota
- University of San Diego
- Washington State University
- Wells College
- Worcester Polytechnic Institute
How do the best test-blind colleges evaluate students?
How do the best test-blind colleges evaluate students? Test-blind colleges assess students using a variety of factors other than standardized test scores. These can include:
High school transcripts: Test-blind colleges will review students’ transcripts to see their grades, coursework, and overall academic performance. This can provide a good indication of a student’s academic aptitude and potential for success in college.
Essays: Many test-blind colleges will require applicants to submit one or more essays as part of their application. These essays can provide insight into a student’s writing skills, personality, interests, and goals.
Letters of recommendation: Test-blind colleges may also require applicants to submit letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or other adults who can provide a character reference. These letters can provide insight into a student’s work ethic, personality, and potential for success in college.
Interviews: Some test-blind colleges may conduct interviews as part of the admissions process. This can allow the college to get to know the student better, ask questions, and learn more about the college.
Extracurricular activities: Test-blind colleges will also look at a student’s extracurricular activities, such as volunteer work, internships, and involvement in clubs and organizations. This can provide insight into a student’s interests, passions, and leadership skills.
Community Service: Some colleges may also look at the community service the student has engaged in, as this can give an idea about the student’s involvement and concern for society.
All of these factors can provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of a student’s potential for success in college. By looking at various factors, test-blind colleges can create a more inclusive and equitable admissions process that does not disadvantage students who may need to perform better on standardized tests.
If you’re set on getting into one of the best test-blind colleges but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students as you get into the schools of their dreams.
At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about what we offer.