A major factor in the college application process has always been standardized tests, specifically the SATs, but many colleges, including Bates College, Mount Holyoke College and Middlebury College, no longer require SAT test scores. These schools all conducted surveys and found the scores are not necessarily good indicators for a successful college career.The test is offered seven times a year and taken annually by nearly two million students as part of their preparation for college.
At Florida A&M University, SATs are still a requirement. The minimum score required by the FAMU Office of Admissions is 1010, which is below the 2005 national SAT average of 1021.The admissions office would not comment on why its acceptance score is below the national average or if it would consider making the SATs optional.
Chanta Haywood, dean of Graduate Studies and Research said, “FAMU should look at the whole student and their potential for success. The SAT should not be a sole criterion, especially given the fact that many minorities do not do well on standardized tests. We have to remain true to our mission of access.”
Student Aria Loveland agreed and suggested FAMU create its own admissions test.
“Studies have shown that SAT scores do not accurately display the abilities of students, so if a test is going to be used it should be created by the school and meet FAMU’s minimum standards.”
Florida State University Director of Admissions Janice Finney said, “FSU is one of 11 state schools governed by the Board of Governors. The state requires that we use test scores.”
She said that in Florida, the state universities have minimum requirements at the freshman level because the community system has open access, which allows anyone to apply regardless of test scores.
With enrollment in the undergraduate programs lower than usual this year, FAMU may have to again revise its application standards. Though the university may never eliminate the standardized test requirement, the college may lower its minimum requirements.
This may raise enrollment and admission numbers, but it may also lower the university’s standards and ratings.
Colleges where the SAT is no longer required have seen steady increases in the number of applicants.
For more information on the SATs, visit http://collegeboard.com.