Impact of Optional

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, census/enumeration data
  • Paris, Joseph (Temple University)
  • Torsney, Benjamin (Temple University)
  • Fiorot, Sara (Temple University)
  • Pressimone Beckowski, Catherine (Temple University)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
test-optional admission
  • Abstract

    An increasing number of postsecondary institutions have introduced test-optional admissions policies primarily due to criticism of standardized admissions tests as potentially biased predictors of student success. However, the impact of the test-optional movement is largely unknown. This study uses a quasi-experimental design and repeated measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) to examine the effects of test-optional policy implementation on institutional desirability, admissions selectivity, and the racial and socioeconomic diversity of the student body. Findings demonstrate that test-optional policy implementation results in enhanced institutional desirability (i.e., increased applications received) and socioeconomic diversity (i.e., increased proportion of Pell Grant recipients).
Temporal Coverage
  • 2001-01-01 / 2018-12-31
    Time Period: Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2001--Mon Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2018
  • 2020-03-10 / 2020-04-22
    Collection Date(s): Tue Mar 10 00:00:00 EDT 2020--Wed Apr 22 00:00:00 EDT 2020
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Participants included 798 (n = 171, test-optional and n = 627, test-requiring) four-year, degree-granting, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)-submitting, public and private not-for-profit institutions in the United States. .
The test-optional institutions included in this study were drawn from FairTest’s list of the “380+ ‘Top Tier’ Schools that Deemphasize the ACT/SAT in Admissions Decisions per U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Guide (2020 Edition).” As of December 7, 2019, this list included 369 public, private non-profit, and private for-profit institutions that implemented test-optional or test-flexible admissions policies and were ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the “Best Colleges and Universities” for 2020. Despite inclusion on FairTest’s list, we excluded 197 test-optional institutions from the study that did not report a change in admissions test score consideration to IPEDS between 2003 and 2016.
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Has version
    DOI: 10.3886/E120481V1

Update Metadata: 2020-07-31 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-07-31