[Opinion] Florida colleges should opt for test-optional admissions for the Class of 2021 and 2022


A College Board statement regarding SAT test cancellations. Photo by Iyah Ibrahim

Sofia Osio, Section editor

Since March, a number of universities across the country have opted for test-optional admissions for only 2021 graduates. Due to complications caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many SAT and ACT dates have been postponed or canceled entirely; even in November, it is hard to come by opportunities to take the tests.

A lack of testing dates has not only affected seniors currently applying for college but also juniors who wish to apply for early decision, early action or even get ahead of the curve for regular admissions in the fall.

While these test-optional admissions may be upsetting and unfair to many students who have spent immeasurable months studying and money for tutoring in preparation for their test, others who struggle to meet their dream school’s requirements now get a rare chance of possibly being admitted to a school they would not be able to get into under normal circumstances.

However, out of all 50 states, Florida and Wyoming are the last two that have not implemented test-optional admissions yet due to COVID-19 setbacks.

In the midst of a pandemic that has affected the world, especially considering that Florida once had the highest number of cases in the country, all Florida colleges should allow test-optional admissions for the 2021 and 2022 high school graduates who have been affected by numerous changes and cancelations in test dates.

According to CollegeBoard, over 1.1 million fewer students nationwide have been able to take the SAT compared to last year. This equates to about 44,000 students in Florida, where the SAT is the main college admissions test, who have been unable to find a testing location.

Although new SAT dates have been added to make up for previously postponed or canceled ones, many students will not be able to attend testing sites due to the drastically reduced capacity, or due to underlying health risks of being surrounded by other students and staff for hours at a time. Some parents may also feel uncomfortable sending their children to the limited schools that still have open test sites.

Another disadvantage of Florida schools not opting for test-optional admissions is the lack of time students have to prepare to get the best score they possibly can.

It is common for students taking the SAT to take the test multiple times in order to receive the highest combination of their scores. This is done to receive the best score possible to send off to colleges.

It is only fair that Florida colleges, which have arguably been affected more than any other state in the country, our understanding of how detrimental these college admissions tests can be on junior and senior score reports, and follow the rest of the country in opting for test-optional admissions.