Talk to any high school counselor advising students applying to a top college these days, and they will probably tell you the same thing: It’s like playing the lottery. In the admissions cycle that ended last month, a record number of applications and historically low acceptance rates at many selective schools have shifted the conversation about what it takes to secure a spot on the nation’s most elite campuses.
That confusion among applicants is likely to grow with the announcement Thursday by the University of Chicago that it will no longer require SAT or ACT scores to admit American students. By doing so, Chicago became the most selective institution so far to go test-optional. It’s likely selective campuses that compete with Chicago for applicants will follow in its footsteps so that they’re not at a disadvantage in recruiting prospective students.