Higher ed groups call on U.S. News to stop using SAT/ACT scores in its college rankings

Several higher education policy and advocacy groups are calling on U.S. News to end its practice of using average SAT and ACT scores of incoming students as part of its annual rankings of America’s best colleges.

The call comes in An Open Letter to The Editors of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges Rankings, which can be read in its entirety in a blog published today by New America, the D.C.-based think tank. The letter was initiated by New America’s Higher Education Team, which has a well-established history of raising concerns about both standardized admissions tests and the harmful consequences of college ranking schemes.

Acknowledging that the U.S. News rankings have “been the leading college rankings publication for years, and its impact on consumers and institutions alike cannot be overstated,” the group contends that because the pandemic has made it “difficult if not impossible for many to take the SAT or ACT” and because an increase in test-blind and test-optional admissions policies makes it difficult to compare institutions on the basis of test scores, institutions should no longer be rated using such metrics.

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