Queens University is making standardized testing optional for prospective undergraduate students.
The move is a way to remove admissions barriers for low-income students, and to ultimately diversify the student body, according to Jennifer Johnson, the private university’s vice president for admissions and marketing.
There’s an inherent bias against low-income applicants built into the standardized test requirements, Johnson told the Agenda.
Applicants with financial means take SAT and ACT prep courses. They’re able to take the tests multiple times if they don’t score as highly as they’d like. Those tests, and the preparation required for them, can get expensive, Johnson said.
“We just want to do everything we can to eliminate any disadvantage for students who don’t have those resources.”
Instead, Queens will take a “holistic approach,” Johnson said, and look at a range of criteria, including essays, high school curriculum, extracurricular activities and teacher recommendations.
The new admissions rule takes effect for fall 2020 applicants.