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'Inherent Bias' In ACT, SAT Lead Hamline University To Stop Requiring Them

Originally published April 22, 2022

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- St. Paul's Hamline University will no longer require prospective students to submit standardized test scores as a part of their application.

University President Dr. Fayneese Miller says the decision has been on her radar for several years, but the need amplified during the pandemic.

Miller says, ultimately, tests like the ACT and SAT hold implicit bias.

"When you've got inherent biases, that privilege some over the other, then you have a test that you have to step back and take a look and ask whether or not it is equitable for all," Miller said. "There's enough in that students file… for you to determine whether or not a student is a good fit for your institution without relying on test scores."

Hamline is not the first school in the Twin Cities to permanently end SAT and ACT requirements. Macalester College and University of St. Thomas have done the same, and University of Minnesota has suspended the requirement until 2025.

"If we are really looking at how do we support all of our young people, especially those who are capable of succeeding in higher ed, then you will not use a standardized test score," Miller said.

She pointed to a study published by Inside Higher Ed that shows an increase in students from underrepresented racial or ethnic backgrounds at schools that have eliminated standardized test requirements.

"A student is not a number," she said. "A student is an individual, a person first. If you see a person as a person and you look at what they're capable of -- what they've accomplished and what they're capable of -- that tells you more about the individual than anything else."

Web Extra: Full Interview With President Fayneese Miller

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