University of New England adopts test-optional admissions policy

University of New England adopts test-optional admissions policy

Students applying for undergraduate admission to the University of New England will soon be able to choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT results. The university has instituted a test-optional admissions policy for its undergraduates, which will become effective for freshmen entering UNE in the fall of 2019.

“Excessive focus on standardized tests can cause tremendous amounts of stress to prospective students and discourage otherwise qualified individuals, especially those from first-generation, low-income and underrepresented minority backgrounds, from applying,” said University of New England President James Herbert, Ph.D. “Providing access to academically capable students of all backgrounds is a hallmark of UNE.”

According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, the trend to make test scores optional in the admissions process is gaining ground, with more than 1,000 accredited, four-year colleges and universities on board. Among those on the list, more than 300 are identified as “top tier” institutions. More than 100 schools have joined the test-optional ranks in the past four years, alone. Although the change is occurring nationwide, the decision by schools to become test-optional is more common in certain regions, such as New England, where more than 50 percent of colleges and universities no longer mandate test scores, FairTest reports.

Scott Steinberg, vice president of University Admissions, states that factors other than SAT or ACT scores are better indicators of who will succeed at the university. “Our research has shown that a student’s performance in high school is the most significant predictor of academic success at UNE,” he explained, adding, “we are very pleased to offer this option to potential candidates.”

UNE offers more than 40 undergraduate programs within its College of Arts and Sciences and its Westbrook College of Health Professions, two of the six colleges that compose the University.

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