CSU's office of the Chancellor
The California State University system’s office of the chancellor in Long Beach. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The University of California system announced it will immediately end consideration of SAT and ACT scores when reviewing applications for admission or scholarships.

The action on Friday settles a lawsuit filed in 2019 by the Compton Unified School District and a coalition of advocacy groups. The lawsuit argued that standardized tests gave wealthy, white students an unfair advantage.

“The historic settlement announced today marks an end to a sordid chapter in the history of the University of California,” said Mark Rosenbaum, lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

“The Regents’ stubborn insistence over generations upon usage of the SAT and ACT despite indisputable evidence that these exams only measured family wealth cost hundreds of thousands of talented students of color a fair opportunity to matriculate in their state’s system of higher education,” he said.

While the university system announced a year ago it would phase out use of the tests by the fall of 2025, Friday’s announcement makes this immediate. The tests are no longer required and scores will not be considered even if submitted by applicants.

The College Board, which administers the SAT tests, issued a statement saying students should be allowed to voluntarily submit test scores, and colleges should consider them in context.

“Evidence shows that when colleges consider SAT scores in the context of where students live and go to school…the SAT helps increase diversity,” the nonprofit organization said. “Preserving a student’s choice to submit scores is important.”

The settlement with the university system’s Board of Regents also includes payment of $1.25 million in legal fees.

The UC system, which has nine campuses across the state and a total of 225,000 undergraduate students, is one of the largest public school systems to cut ties with the standardized tests that have been used for decades.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.