The University of California (UC) is suspending ACT and SAT tests as an admissions requirement until 2024.
The Board of Regents unanimously voted on Thursday to waive the standardized testing requirements for applicants, the university system announced in a news release.
"Today's decision by the Board marks a significant change for the University's undergraduate admissions," said UC President Janet Napolitano, who recommended the suspension of standardized testing in a memo to the Board of Regents earlier this month.
It marks the culmination of a two-year research-based effort by UC to evaluate the value and use of standardized tests in admissions, according to the university system.
"We are removing the ACT/SAT requirement for California students and developing a new test that more closely aligns with what we expect incoming students to know to demonstrate their preparedness for UC," Napolitano said.
If a new test does not meet the specified criteria in time for admissions for fall of 2025, UC will eliminate the standardized testing requirement for California students, according to the news release. UC will work on a separate approach for out-of-state and international students.
"I think this is an incredible step in the right direction toward aligning our admissions policy with the broad-based values of the University," UC Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez said.
In March, UC schools temporarily suspended SAT/ACT requirements for fall 2021 applicants due to the coronavirus pandemic.
UC will continue to keep standardized testing optional through 2022. Applicants in 2023 and 2024 will still have the option to submit their test scores but it will only be considered for purposes such as course placement, certain scholarships and eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee.
The University of California has 10 campuses around the state in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.
An increasing number of universities are dropping the SAT and ACT requirement for fall 2021 admissions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
With high schools across the nation shut down or in limited operation, ACT Inc. and the College Board, the companies behind the ACT and SAT, canceled administrations of the exams until June, prompting a record number of colleges and universities to suspend the standardized test requirement or make it optional.
In total, about 51 universities and colleges have dropped the ACT/SAT requirement for at least fall 2021 in recent months, according to a list by the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, or FairTest, a nonprofit organization working to end the misuse of standardized testing.