University of Chicago: the SAT or ACT is optional. What does it mean for you?

Earlier this summer, the University of Chicago announced that, for future admissions applicants, taking the SAT or ACT is optional. Because the University of Chicago is consistently ranked in the top five universities in the United States, the school’s decision is very important to all current high school students, whether they are considering Chicago or not. We have seen this trend – that the SAT or ACT is optional – among lesser known schools for several years. Here’s why the University of Chicago’s decision is so important.

Think Beyond GPA and Test Scores

UCEazy has been steadfast in our belief that students need to think beyond just GPA and Test Scores. This development from the University of Chicago (#3 ranked college in the country) proves our point. There is more to your application than your SAT/ACT scores. All high school students applying to college should pay very close attention to all parts of their application outside their test scores.

Colleges Look at the Whole Child

Increasingly, colleges are looking at the “whole child”, meaning they are looking beyond academic performance, in addition to test scores. What is the student’s passion? What are the student’s core beliefs? What are the student’s key personality traits? What would the student  add to our campus life? These are the kinds of questions that colleges and universities are actually seeking to answer. Students should be prepared to talk candidly about life outside the classroom. Your test scores are only one facet for acceptance at all colleges.

Document Your Life Outside the Classroom

What else do you have to offer a college campus besides your grades and test scores? A simple way to answer this question is to start with a blank piece of paper. Now, at the top, write “GPA” and then your actual GPA number. On the next line, write “SAT” or “ACT”, whichever test you took. Then write your numeric score. Notice that the rest of the paper is completely blank. You’ve written two lines! The rest of the page is for you to document your life outside of the classroom. Upon completing this exercise, it becomes very obvious why colleges look at more than just your grades and test scores.

You Need a Guide

No need to become stressed. Our team of counselors and teachers can help you navigate this complex and constantly changing process. This announcement by the University of Chicago that the SAT or ACT is optional is not the first major change in college admissions, and it won’t be the last. Students who are applying to college should have a guide and the guide’s job is to know and understand the constantly changing landscape of college admissions.