Most Georgia public colleges won’t require SAT, ACT for 2023-24

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue speaks during the groundbreaking of Science Square on Thursday, August 18, 2022. The system is waiving the SAT or ACT exam as a criteria for admission during the next academic year at most of its schools. Miguel Martinez / miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC

Credit: Miguel Martinez/AJC

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue speaks during the groundbreaking of Science Square on Thursday, August 18, 2022. The system is waiving the SAT or ACT exam as a criteria for admission during the next academic year at most of its schools. Miguel Martinez / miguel.martinezjimenez@ajc.com

Students applying to most of Georgia’s public universities will not need to take the SAT or ACT exam as a criteria for admission during the next academic year.

Sonny Perdue, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, announced Thursday that the college-admissions exams will only be required at Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, two of the system’s most academically rigorous schools. The system’s other 24 schools will be test-optional for students who enroll in the fall of 2023 through the summer of 2024.

The system largely has waived SAT and ACT requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, most recently in March.

“I know that there are strongly held views over standardized testing both pro and con,” said Perdue, at a Georgia Board of Regents meeting.

He pointed to college enrollment challenges, as well as “the threat of a lot of Georgia students going out of state” to colleges that don’t require the tests, as reasons for extending the waiver.

The testing requirement changes have resulted in unintended consequences for smaller USG schools, educators say, as many students that may have enrolled at those schools have instead chosen a larger school.

Students must still meet other college admission requirements, including grade-point average thresholds. An ACT or SAT score is required for students seeking the Zell Miller Scholarship, funded by the Georgia Lottery, which covers the full tuition at University System schools. Test scores are not required for HOPE Scholarship recipients, which covers most of the tuition at those schools.

Perdue said university system officials will study the retention rates and academic success of students admitted to Georgia colleges in the fall of 2021 and fall of 2022 to determine if the test requirement should eventually be reinstated. He said a discussion and decision on the future of the test requirement will take place in the spring.

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