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University of California eliminates SAT, ACT exams from admissions process

LLJsmom

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This simply is not true.

Can I ask why you think this could not be true?
I just went through this process with my older child and much of what is said rang true to me. We’re in CA and the UCs...I can’t even begin to articulate what we went through. I am a public school and UCB product myself, and there is no way in hell I would have gotten into the UCs (ok, maybe Riverside and Merced) if I was applying now.
 
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LLJsmom

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The most efficient way of doing state university admissions without standardized test scores would be to put them in GPA bins and do a lottery. Do state universities even read recommendations anymore?

UCs don’t want them.
 

LLJsmom

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My school district offers free SAT prep classes. Very few students (14 of 640 seniors in my school enrolled, while two other schools cancelled theirs because they only had 3 and 7 kids enroll) elect to enroll in these, even when they are offered during the summer. Why? Because many have figured out from previous students who were admitted into the UC system that their low SAT scores didn’t really matter, because in my district, the UC’s select students based on location in context. Many of them write their personal UC insight questions without putting much effort and thought into them, because, you guessed it, those don’t really matter either. So really, eliminating this requirement will not have much of an impact on my kids. The UC’s compare class rank, place some importance on extracurricular activities next, and lastly they read the essays to look for evidence of resilience? It’s hard to tell, given the range of essays I’ve read through.
So what happens to my kids after they are admitted into these UC’s? Some flunk out. Some thrive. Sink or swim. Resilience is the best indicator of their future success. But it’s hard to gauge resilience in the application process.

Now that is a very interesting scenario. I would have never thought about making test prep free. That’s awesome!!!! If it was in SF, I bet those classes would have been very popular. It is telling that the ones who study hard, regardless of with or without private tutoring or test prep, will improve their scores.
 
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LLJsmom

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I disagree with dropping standardized testing.

I do agree with the statement that international students at state schools are a huge problem. You see, state schools aren't just supported by income taxes; they're supported in a million other ways by the local population. If they never give out any tuition breaks because 97% of the population is paying full freight, out of state tuition, then why are they even a public university receiving public funding?

Yes, I went to a school like this. It accepted only the 2% in-state students required by the state law to continue to receive funding. The other 98% were out-of-state or international. Very qualified in state applicants could not get admitted.

I have no dog in the UC system fight. But I think all spots should need to be filled by those meeting in-state qualifications before others are accepted.

After all, I can't call up Boston Latin as a resident of western Massachusetts and be allowed to go there, even if I am the best student in the country, unless my parents live in Boston proper. That is a public school - but that doesn't mean the global public. It means the local public who fund it.
For certain states, like NC, they do prioritize in-state students significantly more than out of state.
 
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LLJsmom

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So wrong on so many levels. The top tier public universities are intended to serve resident tax payers. That said.....many top schools accept a significant number of foreign students because they pay full fare. It isn’t uncommon for middle income and lower income qualified students to be awarded significant aid, making it cheaper to attend private schools.

I've found that the aid, be it scholarship or other, makes the private school less expensive, reducing the differential between public and private. Most (not all) grants/awards don't make the private school cheaper than the public school. However, if it's the private school that accepts you, and inherently has some pros over public schools, (a whole other thread) the private school becomes a viable option. In CA, the UCs are about $35K a year, including housing, and not much spending money. Private schools are about $65K-$80K without aid. So $15K-$20K aid a year, brings the schools within spitting distance. Private schools know how much a candidate would be paying for public school within their home state.
 

LLJsmom

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If you go on youtube and look up videos on college prep and kids that have gotten into certain schools, you will find many seniors, who share their self-created test prep study schedule. These very motivated and disciplined students did not pay for test prep, but bought study books, of which there are many, created their own practice and exam schedules. They studied regularly, and took practice exams for many weeks prior to the test. They identified the problems they did incorrectly, why, and practiced those problems and improved their scores, on their own. I have nothing but respect and admiration for these hard workers. I have family members that were not satisfied with a low 1500 and practiced on their own, and raised the score even higher. So I do agree that it has to do with the individual person. You can even force feed test prep and training, and if the student does not do the work, it means nothing. I've seen that first hand too.

As to whether removing testing makes any difference, I don't know. I do know that UCs don't require it, but it is optional. So many people think that if you don't submit it, the school may think you are trying to hide something. Whether the admissions committee will feel that way, it's hard to tell. I don't sit in that room, so I could not speculate. But many parents may feel that not submitting a good score may be detrimental, so I think for the families that can, they will still try to submit a good score. And, since the cost differential between public and private is not as high anymore, many students will still apply to private schools, which have not as yet made any test "optional", so these students will still need to prepare and take the standardized tests for these schools. But who knows. With covid hanging around, test dates are continuing to be cancelled, and logistically, it may be very hard for students to take the test. How this "SAT/ACT now optional" change will affect admissions remains to be seen.
 

violet3

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The most efficient way of doing state university admissions without standardized test scores would be to put them in GPA bins and do a lottery. Do state universities even read recommendations anymore?

Yes. They do.
 

rocks

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I've found that the aid, be it scholarship or other, makes the private school less expensive, reducing the differential between public and private. Most (not all) grants/awards don't make the private school cheaper than the public school. However, if it's the private school that accepts you, and inherently has some pros over public schools, (a whole other thread) the private school becomes a viable option. In CA, the UCs are about $35K a year, including housing, and not much spending money. Private schools are about $65K-$80K without aid. So $15K-$20K aid a year, brings the schools within spitting distance. Private schools know how much a candidate would be paying for public school within their home state.

Same here. The school I attended has a need blind admissions policy (yes, an elite college). The average award is just shy of $50k. Cost to attend is about $75k. Most of the students of color pay less than $10k a year. The financial aid packages are extraordinarily generous.

That said, for then middle class paying for school is a hardship. The state university system in my state is fairly expensive, and aid to the middle class, non existent.
 

LLJsmom

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I thought UCs didn't. I'm guessing other state schools do?

We just went through the application process, for a regular admit, this past 2019. I do not know for regents scholarships, or other special scholarships awards whether they request one. My son did not qualify for those, and was not "invited" to provide a letter of recommendation.

.

We went through the online application and they did not request it and we were told that they do not read them.

@violet3 I'm not challenging that you submitted one. Do you want to share the circumstances under which you were invited to submit one? Or are you referring to states other than CA?
 
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LLJsmom

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I thought UCs didn't. I'm guessing other state schools do?

Every school is different. We went to the website for each school and created a matrix of everything the school wanted, the deadlines, the tests, the essays, etc... It's a full time job for 4 months.
 

LLJsmom

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Every school is different. We went to the website for each school and created a matrix of everything the school wanted, the deadlines, the tests, the essays, etc... It's a full time job for 4 months.

To clarify, I meant private schools with regard to this question about recommendations. My son only applied state schools in CA, (UCs and Cal State) IL and IN, and if I remember correctly none of those schools asked for recommendations. I don’t know about other states. And again he was not in the running for special awards or grants, just the standard applicant. Plenty of private schools required recommendations.
 

violet3

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I thought UCs didn't. I'm guessing other state schools do?


We just went through the application process, for a regular admit, this past 2019. I do not know for regents scholarships, or other special scholarships awards whether they request one. My son did not qualify for those, and was not "invited" to provide a letter of recommendation.

.

We went through the online application and they did not request it and we were told that they do not read them.

@violet3 I'm not challenging that you submitted one. Do you want to share the circumstances under which you were invited to submit one? Or are you referring to states other than CA?

Sorry, I just saw this - I'm a professor at a state school on the East Coast - they do read letters of recommendation.
 

voce

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I was forwarded this by someone I knew. Liberals need to rethink eliminating the standardized tests.
 

kenny

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voce wrote, "... Liberals need to rethink eliminating the standardized tests."

l.jpg
 

voce

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voce wrote, "... Liberals need to rethink eliminating the standardized tests."

l.jpg

Straw man fallacy? Pretty sure you're launching an ad hominem attack as well.

I said A, you're posting B logically unrelated to A. In this respect you're as bad as Dancing Fire at redirecting arguments and refusing to address or ignoring facts (in the link I posted) that are inconvenient for you because they challenge your pre-existing views.

I think liberalism has become an ideal in and of itself, and we need to be careful lest such an ideal grips you or me like religion--at which point the individual's emotions and beliefs regarding a set of ideas overwhelms reason, and they become unthinking preachers of the "gospel". Don't be offended I named liberalism in this instance; any political or economic idea, even belief in nation states, the free market or the power of science, can border on "religion" and gospel, if it inspires enough fervor to make you stop questioning the beliefs you hold and ignore any facts that would go against those beliefs, however incorrect.

Ok, I'll stop waxing philosophical, you can hate the messenger (me), but you should still read the article and the message and address the arguments of the author of that article.
 
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