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Nebraska university to drop standardized test requirements

February 6, 2019

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A Roman Catholic university in Omaha will no longer require most first-year applicants to submit results from the ACT or SAT tests beginning in 2020, in an effort officials hope will improve diversity.

Creighton University announced the test-optional initiative on Tuesday, The Omaha World-Herald reported.

The idea came from discussions among university leaders about enrollment, diversity and inclusion, said Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, the private university’s president.

Some education officials believe standardized testing has inherent biases that hinder students who don’t have access to resources and support, and that tests don’t necessarily predict a student’s success. Some students believe the tests don’t accurately reflect their skills.

“I want us to provide greater access for less advantaged candidates,” Hendrickson said.

For those who don’t submit their scores, the university will review the student’s official high school transcript, personal statement and evaluation from a high school counselor. Students can also submit a resume and a letter of recommendation from a mentor, such as a teacher, coach or counselor.

Applicants required to submit their scores include home-schooled students, direct-entry nursing applicants, students who will play NCAA sports and students who attended high school outside the U.S.

Students who want to include their scores in their applications, regardless of requirements, will still be allowed to do so.

The university will continue to gather test results after students are admitted to monitor how the policy is working.

Other schools have adopted similar optional testing application systems, including the University of Chicago, DePaul University, Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, Hendrickson said.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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