DePaul Makes Submitting ACT, SAT Scores Optional

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Sep 3, 2011 4:00PM

2010_02_12_depaul.jpg Beginning from the 2012 admissions cycle, DePaul University will make ACT, SAT test score submission optional. This is not to say that DePaul won't have other criteria for those who decide to forgo submitting their standardized testing scores - in lieu of submitting standardized testing scores, applicants will be required to write four separate essays dealing with questions about "goal-setting, community involvement and personal challenges."

The Sun-Times reports that the decision to make ACT and SAT score submission optional has been in the works for five years. Although DePaul is not the first school in the nation to make test score submission optional, it may be the largest private, non-profit university to do so.

The central reason for the change is simple: standardized testing does not accurately reflect a student's chance of success in college. DePaul school officials believe that test scores do not fully measure what kinds of success a student can achieve at the college-level:

National and state data consistently show a correlation between high incomes and high ACT and SAT scores, said Carla Cortes, DePaul’s enrollment management special project leader. But in a decade’s worth of data, ACT and SAT scores had little correlation with how DePaul’s students performed in the classroom when they got on campus, Cortes said.

“The best and fairest criteria for predicting how a student will do in college is the high school GPA, their high school record in college prep courses over four years,” she said.

DePaul University had around 16,000 applicants for only 2,500 undergraduate spots in 2010. DePaul officials also stated that even with this announcement, they expect the majority of applicants to still submit their ACT, SAT scores during the upcoming admissions cycle.