Hamline University has joined a growing number of colleges and universities that admit students without an ACT or SAT score.

School leaders say standardized tests are poor predictors of academic success and that voluntary test admissions policies encourage more students to apply, especially those from underrepresented populations.

“The changes we are making today will open doors for first-generation students and underrepresented communities, adding to Hamline’s rich heritage of equity and opportunity,” President Fayneese Miller said in a press release. .

Like many American colleges, Hamline switched to elective testing two years ago, in part because of the coronavirus pandemic. This week, they made that change permanent.

St. Paul’s four other private colleges have also permanently adopted optional testing policies in recent years: Macalester College, University of St. Thomas, St. Catherine’s University, and Concordia University, St. Paul.

The University of Minnesota’s Crookston and Duluth campuses are optional. The other three U campuses, including the Twin Cities, are optional at this time, but have not made this change permanent.

Admissions officials at the U’s flagship campus have been reluctant to change course as other predictors of college success are increasingly unreliable. Secondary schools do not always make class rankings available, and grade inflation has made it more difficult to find the best candidates.

Hamline’s vice president of enrollment management, Mai Nhia Xiong-Chang, said they are looking for students with “strong and consistent academic performance throughout high school.”