July 27, 2015 6:28 PM EDT

Students applying to George Washington University will no longer have to submit SAT and ACT scores for the upcoming application cycle, a reflection of the school’s desire to increase access to disadvantaged students who typically do not do as well on standardized tests, the school announced Wednesday. According to the new policy, students who want to send their SAT and ACT scores are free to do so.

“Although we have long employed a holistic application review process, we had concerns that students who could be successful at GW felt discouraged from applying if their scores were not as strong as their high school performance,” Dean of Admissions Karen Stroud Felton told the Washington Post “We want outstanding students from all over the world and from all different backgrounds–regardless of their standardized scores–to recognize GW as a place where they can thrive.”

Many schools now choose to go test-optional because they believe they can recruit an equally strong student body, without requiring standardized tests that tend to disadvantage minority students and students from poor socioeconomic backgrounds.

“I have to question why having less information to make a decision is a good thing. To me, for a good decision, you want as much information as possible” ACT President Jon L. Erickson told the Post.

According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, or FairTest, an organization that supports test-optional policies, more than 800 four-year colleges are flexible about applicants submitting test scores

Along with schools that require no test scores, “test-flexible” schools like New York University allow students to choose between submitting the SAT, the ACT, or SAT subject test or AP scores.




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