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Macalester College Admissions Makes Standardized Tests Optional

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Macalester College will no longer require students to submit their standardized test scores to be considered for admission.

The school announced Monday the test-optional admissions policy will go into effect immediately, waiving the requirement for the incoming class for the fall of 2021.

Standardized tests like the SAT and ACT are often a source of debate. Some argue the tests allow for admissions committees to look at potential students fairly and objectively. However, others say the tests exacerbate race and class disparities, because not only do the tests themselves cost money, test-prep materials are often expensive and thus: inaccessible to all.

For Macalester, the decision to opt for a test-optional admissions policy came after years of consideration, involving administrators, faculty, trustees, and students. The college said they also wanted to eliminate the stress students feel when taking the tests.

"A thorough examination of our admissions process has confirmed that we can make sound admissions decisions, and students can fully represent themselves to the Admissions Committee, without test scores," said Jeff Allen, Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid.

The most important factor which determines whether a student will succeed at Macalester, Allen said, is academic performance in high school.

"If students believe they can be successful at Macalester, regardless of family financial background, we want to develop relationships with them," Allen said.

Macalester will also eliminate the $40 admissions application fee.

In late February, St. Thomas announced they would be waiving their standardized testing requirement. 

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