The University of Houston is extending its standardized test-optional policy for applicants entering school in Fall 2024.
The policy was originally put in place during the pandemic after officials were forced to cancel testing dates and close testing sites for the SAT and ACT.
Teri Longacre is the Dean of Undergraduate Student Success at UH and said the extension gives the university the ability to better evaluate students who do well academically in school.
"We're able to evaluate and admit students who may not be good standardized test takers, but do quite well in their courses," she said.
Around 44% of incoming freshmen for the university's Fall 2022 semester used the test-optional policy. Longacre said she's not too surprised the policy has worked well for UH so far.
"Because of the factors that we're using to admit students under this policy," she said. "Using their high school performance to predict college performance. I'm glad that it's all worked out."
Longacre added that so far, there has been no significant difference between students who chose to provide their test scores and those who opted out of including them in an application when it came to performance in classes.
As test-optional admissions become more popular nationwide, administrators at UH are considering making the change permanent. Other universities with test-optional policies currently in place include Rice University, Baylor, and Texas Tech. Rice will keep its policy until at least 2024, while Baylor and Texas Tech plan to keep the policy until at least 2025.
Last year, the organization that runs the SAT, the College Board, announced students in the U.S. will take the exam entirely online starting in 2024. The exam will be online for international students starting this year. Along with the change, the exam will be shortened by an hour. The New York Times reports such changes were previously dropped because students would need three hours of uninterrupted, video-quality internet access.