In December, a coalition of students, advocacy groups, and a largely black and Hispanic school district sued the University of California system for requiring applicants to take the SAT and ACT. They claim that the use of standardized tests in admissions discriminates against low-income and minority applicants, unfairly disadvantaging students whose families cannot afford to send their children to tutoring. They cited extreme racial disparities in the state’s test scores – with 44% of white students and 53% of Asian-American students scoring 1200 or above on the SAT, compared with just 10% of African-American students and 12% of Hispanic students.

The University of California system is the largest in the country, serving more than 280,000 students in a total of 10 campuses. Should the lawsuit be successful, and the University of California becomes test-optional, it would dramatically shake up conversation about standardized testing and possibly set off a chain reaction, radically reshaping the college admissions process. We have seen how a number of colleges have opted for test-optional in recent years, in an attempt to increase the diversity in the student body. Could the University of California be next?

We will keep a lookout for further updates from the University of California, so be sure to watch this space for more announcements regarding their standardized testing requirements and the test-optional movement!