Sage Drops Testing Requirement

November 16, 2010 at 11:00 am


By a wide margin, the faculty of The Sage Colleges on Friday voted to no longer require standardized testing for their undergraduate applicants to Russell Sage College and the Sage College of Albany.  This change will be effective immediately. 

“This is in keeping with the faculty’s view of a Sage education,” said Dr. Terry Weiner, Sage’s provost. “We believe our educational philosophy and practices should be reflected in our admissions policies. 

“The SAT continues to be a less reliable predictor of first year performance or success in college compared to high school GPA and class rank. Our own studies at Sage have confirmed this. We continue to rely on our assessment of the whole record as the best way to assess students ready for Sage,” according to Weiner.  “In this time of economic distress students should not have to choose between expensive cram courses or tutoring for these tests, or worry about losing ground in the competition for college admission.”

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director of FairTest notes that “Fortunately, more and more colleges have recognized the folly of fixating on the narrow, often biased, information provided by standardized tests and moved toward test-optional admissions.” Surveys by FairTest show that schools that have made standardized tests optional are widely pleased with the results. Many report their applicant pools and enrolled classes have become more diverse without any loss in academic quality.

 Sage already utilizes a “holistic” approach to student evaluation:  academic preparation – rigor and achievement – is the most important factor followed by recommendations and students’ personal profiles.

 “Our approach to selecting students is very similar to the way students choose a college: we look at many factors, keep in mind a student’s background and interests, and assess the match between that student and Sage.  No one factor is a ‘driver,’ it is the sum of the whole,” according to Sage’s vice president Dan Lundquist. “If a student wants to submit test scores we will be happy to receive them, just as we want to learn about their accomplishments and goals.  But if a student doesn’t submit scores we won’t assume anything, just as if they don’t tell us about a hobby.  We don’t guess about what’s not in the application, we focus on what’s in an application.”

SATs will still be required for accelerated programs since the graduate schools often require this information in dual admissions. Any program that has an agreement with an external institution will require test scores. If a program is linked to Sage Graduate Schools, Sage is test-optional. ABOUT SAGE


The Sage Colleges is an independent private institution of higher education comprised of three colleges: Russell Sage College, a comprehensive, undergraduate college for women in Troy, NY; Sage College of Albany, a coeducational undergraduate college of applied studies in Albany, NY; and the Sage Graduate Schools of Education, Health Sciences, and Management, operating on both campuses and offering applied master's and doctoral degrees. Through Sage College of Albany's Sage After Work program, working adults with college credit or an associate degree can earn their bachelor's while working full time.