The University of California (UC) system regents unanimously voted Thursday to waive their standardized test requirement for their incoming freshman until 2024, meaning that high school students will no longer need to take the ACT or SAT to gain admission to one of the expansive system's universities.
“Today’s decision by the Board marks a significant change for the University’s undergraduate admissions,” Janet Napolitano, president of the UC system and former Homeland Security secretary, said in a statement.
“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,” she added.
For the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years, universities in the UC system will be given the option to use the ACT or SAT "if applicants choose to submit them."
Then, for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years, UC institutions will be “test-blind." The rule will apply for "California public and independent high school applicants." The university system noted that test scores could still be used for "other purposes such as course placement, certain scholarships and eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee."
"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 Chairman John A. Pérez said before the vote. “I see our role as fiduciaries and stewards of the public good and this proposal before us is an incredible step in the right direction.”
According to its statement, the goal for the system is to "identify or create a new test that aligns with the content UC expects students to have mastered to demonstrate college readiness for California freshmen," by January 2021. This new test would then be required for the 2025-26 academic year.