HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Standardized college admission tests will now be optional for students applying to Hofstra University on Long Island.
Beginning in 2015, students will be able to decide for themselves whether the tests will be part of their applications, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported. Instead of SAT and ACT tests, the institution will focus on students’ high school performance in its admissions decisions.
“We know from our own studies and national studies the best predictor of student success is their high school transcript and the record of work they do day in and day out in the classroom,” spokesperson Melissa Connelly told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “We’re allowing students to decide for themselves if that test accurately reflects their potential for excellence.”
The new policy will apply to all undergraduate students entering in the fall of 2015 except international and home-schooled students.
Area high school students were happy to hear the news.
“I will feel more empowered. I am a good student and have good grades, but…” junior Keana Cooper said, referring to how some students just struggle with standardized testing.
“I am an all A student, a great student, but when it comes to the standardized tests, you get nervous. It wont reflect your abilities in school,” junior Madison Tarabay added.
In recent years, 800 four-year institutions in the United States have de-emphasized the use of standardized test scores, noted Garden City School Superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen.
“Students have many aptitudes, interests, values. It is important to look the whole picture, to make an important decision like college admissions rather than narrowly defining it,” Dr. Feirsen told McLogan.
Some complained that the playing field isn’t fair when expensive test-prep programs are financially out of reach.
“I think it will be beneficial to certain high school students who can’t afford the prep. I took the prep and it is a lot of money,” Hofstra junior Khadijah Duncan said.
But others said testing brings out the best and the brightest, rewarding those who take academically rigorous courses. Some current college students who couldn’t opt out call it unfair.
“For those who worked so hard all those years, junior year you are cramming for these tests, it ‘s tough,” Hofstra senior Gary Duff said.
The Hempstead, Long Island, campus has 6,800 undergraduates and 3,000 graduate students. It offers professional training in law, medicine, engineering and other fields.
It plans to expand into Manhattan with a fast-track MBA program designed for working professionals, beginning with the fall semester.
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