Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Why a growing number of colleges and universities are becoming test optional

Emily Cady and John Baynes on "Connections"
Megan Mack
Emily Cady and John Baynes on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Earlier this month, Columbia University became the first Ivy League school to go “test optional,” permanently – meaning it doesn’t require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. The institution first adopted the policy in 2020 during the pandemic, when there were concerns about access to the tests about the spread of COVID-19 at testing sites.

Columbia is one of a growing number of colleges and universities that have become test optional, citing equity issues. We’ve reached out to colleges and universities in the region to inquire about their policies.

This hour, we discuss the issue and current trends in the college application process with our guests:

  • John Baynes, former high school teacher, and current Monroe County Legislator for District 18
  • Emily Cady, college counselor at the Harley School
  • Shaun Nelms, Ed.D., superintendent of East High School, and professor at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester
  • Robert J. Alexander, Ed.D., dean of admissions, financial aid, and enrollment management at the University of Rochester
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.