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MCLA Adopts Test-Blind Policy for Fall 2021/22 Applicants

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. —In support of MCLA’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and in recognition of the public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the MCLA Office of Admission will be waiving the SAT/ACT testing requirement for students who apply for Fall 2021 and Fall 2022. MCLA will also be piloting a test-blind/test-free policy for Fall 2021 applicants.


“We do not want students to worry about sitting for the tests if it is unsafe for them to do so,” said MCLA Director of Admission Kayla Hollins ’12. “As an office dedicated to creating a clear and transparent college admission process for students, the next logical step in our efforts toward an equitable process is to waive standardized test scores. We decided to take it a step further, after months of data collection and research, to become test-blind (test-free).”


National and institutional data point to high school work being indicative of student success in college and a more equitable means of assessment than standardized test scores. As an institution committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the use of SAT/ACT scores in admission decisions poses a significant barrier in carrying out that commitment. For many years, research studies have found that wealthy students have significant advantages through the college application process. A 2013 study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Southern California, for example, found that the difference in SAT scores between high- and low-income students was twice as large among Black students compared to white students.


MCLA’s application is free, and students are considered for merit-based scholarships at the same time as they submit their application. MCLA has an Early Action Deadline of December 1. Those who apply must submit their official high school transcript, including first quarter senior grades and any transcripts for college level courses taken, as well as a personal statement/essay.


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About MCLA:
At MCLA, we’re here for all — and focused on each — of our students. Classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching, and about seeing their students thrive on every level of their lives. In nearly every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate our students as individuals, as leaders, communicators, fully empowered to make their impressions on the world. In addition to our 125-year commitment to public education we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For eight of the last 10 years, MCLA has been named a Top Ten College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA also appears on the organization’s list of top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges, as well as on the top 50 schools in U.S. News’ Social Mobility Ranking, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants.


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