Date of Award
PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy
Education Leadership, Management and Policy
Robert Kelchen, Ph.D.
Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D.
Richard Blissett, Ph.D.
test-optional policy, undergraduate admissions, enrollment, difference-in-differences
This study examines national colleges and universities that have de-emphasized or eliminated standardized test scores and have implemented test-optional policies for undergraduate admissions. The phrase “standardized test(s)” in this study refers to the ACT and the SAT examinations. The study investigates the test-optional admissions trend and provides a “pre-post" quantitative analysis of test-optional policy effects on the number of admitted students, applications, acceptance rates, and the enrollment of Pell Grant recipients and underrepresented minority groups. The study also includes a qualitative summative analysis pertaining to the institutional framing of test-optional policies. The quasi-experimental research design utilizes difference-in-differences regression of cross-sectional, time series (i.e., panel) data. The sample is comprised of U.S. national colleges and universities that have implemented a test-optional policy for first-year, full-time, undergraduate admissions in comparison to test-requiring institutions. The sample represents both public and private institutions, varying in enrollment, ranking, and acceptance rates. The study presents arguments from test-optional advocates and opponents, discusses theoretical frameworks, assesses previous research, and provides recommendations to the literature. It concludes with the findings, identification of limitations, and suggestions to prompt further study.
Pellegrino, Christina, "Test-Optional Policies: Implementation Impact on Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment" (2020). Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs). 2823.