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Temple U. Makes SAT Scores Optional On Its College Application

By Justin Udo and Cleve Bryan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Following an emerging trend among schools of higher learning, Temple University is changing the way it does its admissions. Students now have some new options when applying to the school.

The university is now letting applicants choose whether or not they want to submit their standardized tests scores (the most familiar of which are the SAT and ACT)  when they apply for admission.

"It allows us to work with students who have very strong high school records who have not tested well," says Bill Black, Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment Management.

Looking at studies and conducting their own year-long research, Temple concludes that grade point average is a better indicator of college performance than standardized test scores.

"What we're trying to do is identify another route to evaluating the potential for students to be successful at Temple."

Temple is the largest public research University in the Northeast to go test optional.

"I hated taking the test. I hate standardized tests, they're awful and they should be illegal," joked Temple student Maggie Costello who gets anxiety just thinking about the SATs.

In what they are calling the "Temple Option," Black says, they evaluate noncognitive variables.

"We've developed a series of four, short-answer, self-reflective questions that we will ask students who chose to apply through this path rather than the traditional path that would include submitting standardized test scores," he explains.

He echoes other college experts who believe test optional admissions benefit urban and other low-income students.

The new application process will be available to students starting August 1st.


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