Despite more universities putting less weight on or even completely dropping requirements for SAT scores, standardized test scores are still a major part of a student’s application for the University of Connecticut, said Nathan Fuerst, former admissions director and newly appointed vice president for enrollment management and planning.
The weight of a standardized test score varies from one college to the next, according to a report released by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).
Even with UConn’s weight on scores, UConn’s admissions team carefully reads each component of an application, Fuerst said.
“We require our staff to review applications, in full, regardless of the test score or GPA,” said Fuerst.
The order in which an application is reviewed varies depending on the admissions officer’s preference, Fuerst said.
“Most applications are reviewed multiple times by different staff members, in order to ensure consistency in our review,” Fuerst said.
There is no process of elimination—such as low test scores or substandard cumulative GPA—for reducing the applicant pool. “Given this, even applicants with lower test scores can fare well in the review if they have strong grades (or vice versa) and exceptional supporting materials in the essay, recommendations, activities, etc.,” explained Fuerst.
University spokesperson Stephanie Reitz also said that there are many factors of an application that are considered.
NACAC also addresses the importance of diversity, explaining that colleges look at the applicant pool as a whole to ensure they are admitting a diverse group of incoming students with varying interests. A table displayed in the report—with information collected by a NACAC admissions trends surveys—indicates that in recent years between 50 and 60 percent of colleges deem test scores to be an important factor.
The report also points out that between 70 and 80 percent of colleges view grades in college preparatory courses to be an important aspect of an application followed by an applicant’s high school’s strength of curriculum, grades in all courses, essays and writing samples and class rank—all aspects of an application mentioned by both Fuerst and Reitz.
In addition to the application components previously listed, the NACAC mentions the following important components to an application: counselor recommendation, demonstrated interest, teacher recommendation, extracurricular activities, work and SAT subject test scores.
William Raccio is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.