The University of California announced on Nov. 18 that standardized test scores will no longer be required for students to be admitted to its school. Due to the lack of adequate tests to replace the Scholastic Aptitude Test and American College Test, this decision will stand indefinitely.
The UC system is undoubtedly taking the necessary steps toward creating a fairer education system. Eliminating the need for SAT & ACT scores for admissions into any of the nine UC campuses has opened the door for students to explore what they enjoy.
This is why Coast Report’s Editorial Board supports UC’s suspension of the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate applicants.
This decision to dismiss test scores comes after UC settled the 2019 lawsuit filed by students, advocacy groups and the Compton Unified School District claimed that standardized tests illegally discriminate against applicants based on race, wealth and disability, ultimately denying students equal protections under California’s constitution.
Following the lawsuits, a faculty report was released encouraging the continued use of standardized tests for admissions, but the advocates fighting against test scores persevered.
On Aug. 30, 2020, the courts ruled in favor of the students, advocacy groups and the Compton Unified School District and ordered the suspension of standardized test scores to determine scholarship eligibility and admission.
Following the ruling, freshman applications for fall 2021 increased by 16.1%, with nearly 250,000 applications received. UC also accepted the largest class of minorities in recent years. Over 8,000 African American students submitted applications and 4,608 were accepted, over 600 more students compared to last year. Compared to under-represented groups, such as African Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, Hispanic students had the highest acceptance rate at 37% for the second year in a row.
However, there is still more work to be done.
While it was necessary to dismiss standardized testing, students still struggle with the cost of tuition. Test scores put students from low-income families at a disadvantage, but so does the price tag of tuition.
Reduced or free college tuition for all American students is strongly supported by nearly 50% of adults between 18-29, especially for Black and Hispanic adults. However, UC recently increased its tuition for the second time in 10 years.
Undergraduate student enrollment continues to decline across the nation, dropping 7.8% since 2019. California experienced the fifth-highest decline in undergraduate enrollment at 6.5% from 2019-2021. While this can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic the world has been through these past two years, the cost of tuition is a huge factor we cannot ignore.
The Coast Report Editorial Board consists of the editor in chief and section editors. One member of the editorial board writes the editorial and this rotates throughout the semester.
Editorial topics are pitched by all members of the board and a single topic is selected for each editorial. Each editorial board member votes on their position on the selected topic and the majority position becomes that of the editorial. In the event of a tie on the first vote, editorial board members engage in continued discussion and state the reasons for their initial vote. A second vote is then taken and the majority position becomes that of the editorial. In the event of a second tied vote, the editorial position will be decided at the discretion of the editor in chief.
For this editorial, the board vote on the issue resulted in a 5-1 majority of the board voting “yes” to the question "Did the University of California system make the right decision in no longer requiring standardized testing for admissions?" Coast Report publishes voting results to promote transparency.