DePaul University becomes the largest private university to not require ACT or SAT scores. Starting for the freshman class of 2012, students will be able to answer essay questions instead of submitting test scores. The essay questions will be used to determine if the student has the "noncognitive" traits to make them successful in college. Those traits include leadership, commitment to service and the ability to meet long-term goals. University officials hope that this new initiative will help draw more diverse applicants and students who are more likely to graduate.
"Admissions officers have often said that you can't measure heart," said Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president for enrollment management. "This, in some sense, is an attempt to measure that heart."
It will be interesting to see how this new policy helps or hurts them. Either way, this is a bold approach that opens the doors to a lot of high school students who didn't do well on their admissions tests. We will continue to follow this story and report back with any updates that DePaul releases. In the mean time, feel free to learn about the ACT and SAT tests in our Resource Center, or apply for our Scholarship giveaway.