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AIC to Make SAT, ACT Scores Optional Next Spring

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) will become one of the first local institutions of higher education to become SAT- and ACT-optional beginning in the spring semester of 2017. This will include all applicants for all majors.

A growing trend nationally, more than 850 schools, including big names such as George Washington, Wesleyan, and Fairfield universities, are now test-optional. Thirty-five schools in Massachusetts are on board.

In a study conducted by the National Assoc. for College Admission Counseling, college performance was evaluated for more than 100,000 students at 33 test-optional colleges. It was determined that the differences in college performance of those students who submitted SAT scores and those who did not were negligent in terms of grade point averages and graduation rates. The study also found that those students who did not submit SAT scores were more likely to be first-generation-to-college applicants, minority students, women, Pell grant recipients, and students with learning differences.

“Moving to test-optional admissions is core to our mission of educational access for first-generation students and students from underserved backgrounds,” said Dean of Undergraduate Admission Jonathan Scully. “We’re invested in our students’ success and recognize that standardized tests don’t typically serve those populations well. There is a direct correlation between test scores and economic resources. Students who have the financial means to afford test preparation will do better than those who don’t. We shouldn’t be basing our admission decisions on test scores. It’s important to look at the whole student.”

A multi-year study at AIC determined that high-school success is two to three times more predictive of retention and college success than standardized test scores. High-school success includes rigorous courses and good grades, meaning a heavy academic course load at the highest level in which the student will excel. In addition, AIC looks for well-rounded students, excelling outside of the classroom as well — in other words, an individual who will be an outstanding member of not only the AIC community, but also the community at large.

For more information about American International College, visit www.aic.edu or call (413) 205-3201.

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