Sage Colleges follow Union in no longer requiring test scores

Next year’s crop of applicants to The Sage Colleges will not be required to submit standardized t


Next year’s crop of applicants to The Sage Colleges will not be required to submit standardized test scores.

The colleges — Sage College of Albany and Russell Sage College in Troy — no longer require the SAT or ACT, after a decision made by faculty-member vote Oct. 1.

In that decision, Sage follows Union College in Schenectady, which did away with requiring the test scores for admission in 2006. Most other area colleges and universities require the SAT or ACT, including the University at Albany, College of Saint Rose and Skidmore College.

“They aren’t the most important thing in our admission package, but they are a piece of our admission packet,” said Andrea Wise, spokeswoman of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. The high school transcript is also important in determining how a student will do in college, she said.

The University at Albany reviews 22,000 applications a year, and test scores help show who the best applicants are, said spokesman Karl Luntta.

“The test scores are one of the required components that assist us,” he said, adding that campus officials are not planning to eliminate the requirement anytime soon.

Nationwide, emphasis on standardized testing has been diminishing over the past decade or so, with more focus on high school grades and rank, teacher recommendations and personal essays.

“In this time of economic distress, students should not have to choose between expensive cram courses or tutoring for these tests, or worry about losing ground in the competition for college admission,” said provost Terry Weiner.

Even before deciding not to require standardized test scores, Sage had “de-emphasized” those scores’ importance, said Andrew Palumbo, director of undergraduate admissions for The Sage Colleges.

“Sage has always tried to review students in a holistic manner,” Palumbo said. “What we’re really striving for is to find the right fit.”

Starting this year, applicants who choose to submit their test scores will have them considered as part of the student’s application. Students who choose not to submit them will be judged on the rest of their application, especially their high school transcript.

“It’s the most important indicator, the most accurate indicator, of a student’s ability to succeed at the college level,” Palumbo said of the high school transcript.

For this year’s freshman class, Sage Colleges received 1,150 applications and admitted 68 percent of the students.

Of those who enrolled, average SAT scores were 507 for verbal and 509 for the math section.

“We never had a cutoff point,” Palumbo said of SAT scores. “It really has always been a sliding scale.”

He expects to see more applications in the future as a result of the change. “I think we’ll reach a broader audience who feel that the test scores do not represent their best efforts.”

SATs will still be required for accelerated programs since the graduate schools often require this information in dual admissions. Any program that has an agreement with an external institution will require test scores. But if a program is linked to Sage Graduate Schools, test scores are optional.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

Leave a Reply