University of St. Thomas to no longer require ACT or SAT scores from applying students

The University of St. Thomas is saying so long to the ACT. The school says it will no longer require students to take the ACT or SAT in order to apply. It’s the latest Minnesota university to add its name to a growing list. 
The decision to go “test-optional” was one that officials at the university have been looking into for several years. President Julie Sullivan made the announcement during her State of the University address Thursday evening, saying that standardized tests don’t tell the full story of the student.

According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, roughly 1,000 colleges nationwide are “test-optional.” There are 18 total in Minnesota.  

“There is a growing amount of experience from other schools, and even our own showed that relying on that test wasn’t necessarily giving us all of the students that might do well as a St. Thomas student,” said Al Cotrone, the vice president of admissions at the University of St. Thomas.

The university believes eliminating the requirement will open up their applications to those students that can still be successful, but may not be as successful at standardized testing. 

“It’s maybe a diversity of thought, a diversity of thinking,” said Cotrone. “There is a value to being able to prep and do well on a standardized test, but it’s not the only thing that leads to success.”

At College Possible Minnesota, Executive Director Geoff Wilson says he has seen that first-hand.

“That test is a better predictor of family income than it is of ability to succeed in college,” said Wilson. 

Without the requirements of the ACT and SAT scores, test optional schools have had to dive deeper into prospective students’ applications to find the right fits 

“How are they doing in school, what courses have they chosen, what is the rigor of the courses that they have chosen, what extra curriculars do they have,” said Cotrone.

The University of St. Thomas will become test optional in the fall of 2021. The university will still accept applications from those students that choose to take the test. The middle 50 percent of their students scored between a 24 and 29 on the ACT.