Hamline University has joined a growing number of colleges and universities that are admitting students without an ACT or SAT score.
School leaders say standardized tests are poor predictors of college success and that test-optional admissions policies encourage more students to apply, especially those from underrepresented populations.
“The changes we make today will open doors for first-generation students and underrepresented communities, adding to Hamline’s rich legacy of equity and opportunity,” President Fayneese Miller said in a news release.
Like many U.S. colleges, Hamline went test-optional two years ago, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic. This week, they made that change permanent.
The other four private colleges in St. Paul also have permanently adopted test-optional policies in recent years: Macalester College, University of St. Thomas, St. Catherine University and Concordia University, St. Paul.
The University of Minnesota’s Crookston and Duluth campuses are test-optional. The U’s three other campuses, including the Twin Cities, are test-optional for now but haven’t made that change permanent.
Admissions officials at the U’s flagship campus have been reluctant to change course because other predictors of college success are increasingly unreliable. High schools don’t always make class rank available, and grade inflation has made it harder to find the best candidates.
Hamline’s vice president of enrollment management, Mai Nhia Xiong-Chang, said they look for students with “strong and consistent academic performance throughout high school.”