Court rules UC can no longer consider SAT, ACT in admissions

Photo of a scantron
Aura Barrera/File
The ruling, resulting from a lawsuit filed by five students and six organizations, recognized that the UC system's 'test-optional' policy would have given privileged students an unfair advantage in admissions.

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The Alameda County Superior Court granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday that requires the UC system to cease use of the SAT and ACT as part of the admissions process, according to a press release from pro bono law firm Public Counsel.

The ruling, resulting from a lawsuit filed by five students and six organizations, recognized that the UC system’s “test-optional” policy would have given privileged students an unfair advantage in admissions, according to the press release. Under the preliminary injunction granted by the court, the SAT and ACT cannot be considered for rising seniors and anyone currently in the process of applying for admission to the UC system.

At its meeting in May, the UC Board of Regents voted to eliminate the use of the tests by 2025.

Several UC campuses, including UC Berkeley, have already stopped using SAT and ACT scores in admissions, while others, including UCLA and UC San Diego, planned to implement a test-optional policy in which students could choose whether or not to include scores from the tests in their applications, according to the press release.

The court ruling holds that this test-optional policy would have given more privileged students advantages in their applications that less privileged students and students with disabilities would have lacked.

“There’s never been such a thing as a level playing field to admissions for our most underrepresented students, but this ruling at least evened that field a significant bit,” said Mark Rosenbaum, director of Public Counsel’s Opportunity Under Law project, in the press release.

Alexandra Feldman is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @a_p_feldman.