ACT thinks tests are going away for good

SocratesPost is always on the frontlines scouring the news for relevant updates in the college admissions landscape. We look for anything that can help shape our understanding of the latest trends in admissions and help our readers see the direction in which we’re moving.

Questions we explored this week:

  • True or false? ACT thinks standardized tests are going away for good.
  • This East Coast public college is slashing tuition by nearly 50%. Which one?
  • College grads are regretting their school choices. Why?

March 1, 2021 — True

Based on a higher ed research report by EY-Parthenon, ACT believes that standardized tests will likely remain optional in college admissions. The report found that test blind policies (under which schools don’t look at test scores at all) are unlikely to spread quickly. 50% of 4-year institutions were already test optional pre-Covid. Test optional schools increased by 30% during Covid.

What does this mean? SAT and ACT are scrambling to find other products to sell to reluctant and forward-thinking customers. Meanwhilee, colleges may still opt to create their own standardized tests.

Read more here.

March 1, 2021 — Radford University Carilion

The public school in downtown Roanoke, Va. received $10 million in funds from the state legislature, allowing it to drop tuition from nearly $22k to about $12k per year. The college, which recently merged with Jefferson College of Health Sciences, prepares students for careers in the medical field and offers degrees ranging from associate to doctorate.

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What does this mean? Decreased tuition could indicate decreased financial aid, but also remove the common practice of “tuition discounting” where colleges post high sticker prices for tuition but heavily discount it using “scholarships.”

Read more here.

March 4, 2021 — Too much debt

According to research by the National Association of Scholars, college grads are regretting choosing a more expensive school over cheaper options like community college. Covid has highlighted that education online, whether it’s from Yale or the local state school, isn’t very different. Grads from all schools — not just the lower-ranked ones — are faced with lack of job availability in our high-unemployment economy. High student debt limits people from feeling free to change careers, get married, and start family.

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What does this mean? Pandemic or not, families need to really dig into the cost of college and calculate the ROI. Smart and motivated graduates with stable jobs can still drown under student debt, affecting all aspects of life including romantic relationships, personal financial goals, and mental health.

Read more here.

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