A judge has ruled that the University of California may no longer look at SAT/ACT scores when considering applicants for admission to any of their nine schools.
Alameda Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman made the decision in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this year. The lawsuit pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic prevents disabled students from having the same test-taking opportunities as their nondisabled peers. For example, disabled students do not have the same access to the limited number of testing sites.
“The current COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in restrictions in the availability of test-sites. While test-taking opportunities for all students have been limited, for persons with disabilities, the ability to obtain accommodations or even locate suitable test locations for the test is ‘almost nil,’ ” Seligman said.
Just four months ago, the Regents of the University of California announced that, until the year 2024, freshman applicants would no longer be required to take the SAT or ACT, but that campuses would still have the option of considering test scores. The Regents said they would completely eliminate consideration of standardized test scores if a new test meeting certain criteria was not available by 2025.
That wasn’t enough for Judge Seligman, who wrote that for schools that do accept test scores, the disabled applicants aren’t given the same opportunities that the nondisabled test-takers have. “In short, students with disabilities are denied the same option … for admissions that non-disabled applicants enjoy in the test-optional regime,” Seligman said.
The University of California is unhappy with Seligman’s decision, saying it “respectfully disagrees with the Court’s ruling.”
“An injunction may interfere with the University’s efforts to implement an appropriate and comprehensive admissions policies and its ability to attract and enroll students of diverse backgrounds and experiences,” a UC spokesperson said.
The UC system is considering further legal action.