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Geneva college drops SATs
Hobart and William Smith believes move will broaden applicant pool
(June 6, 2006) GENEVA Students applying to Hobart and William Smith Colleges have to show their class rank, high school grade-point average and two letters of recommendation.
But starting next year, they will not have to show how well or poorly they did on the SAT or ACT tests.
The private liberal arts institution on the north shore of Seneca Lake will no longer require applicants to include such standardized test scores in their applications. With the move, which starts with the fall 2007 freshmen, Hobart and William Smith joins the growing ranks of schools that have gone "SAT optional."
It will be the only such four-year liberal arts institution in the Rochester area to not require those test scores in applications. In New York state, Hamilton College and St. Lawrence University both are SAT optional.
Half a dozen selective liberal arts colleges in 2005 decided to make SAT and ACT scores optional, and "there are probably as many as a dozen more on the verge," said Bob Schaeffer, public education director of FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing, an advocacy group that has long been a critic of standardized testing.
The organization maintains a list of more than 700 schools that do not require SAT or ACT test scores to get in.
However, "we don't see this as a growing trend," said College Board spokeswoman Caren Scoropanos. "It's a handful of colleges and universities that have done this."