Are you applying to any University of California schools this year? The University of California is getting sued again. Here’s how it affects you, your SAT/ACT scores, and the next few admission cycles.
1. The Situation
Recently, a judge filed an injunction that prevents the UCs from using ACT/SAT scores until the lawsuit is resolved. It’s important to keep in mind that since it’s only an injunction (and not a Supreme Court case), the decision is not final. Nevertheless, the results may take years.
This lawsuit in particular argues that the tests are unfair right now for people who are disabled because it’s nearly impossible right now, at least in California, to find testing centers with accommodations during COVID-19.
Previously, only UC Berkeley, Irvine, and Santa Cruz have gone test blind. Now, all UC campuses must become test-blind.
Whether or not test centers are open right now is largely dependent on what state you’re in; most students in California have not been able to take the tests since 2019. Because of these circumstances, it’s not only students with disabilities who have a disadvantage, but most students in California. While the lawsuit does point out an inequity in which students with disabilities can’t find testing facilities, it is nonetheless still unfair that numerous students in certain states can’t take the tests either.
3. What will other colleges do?
Because this lawsuit is particular to California and disabled students in other states may have access to test centers with accommodations, other colleges might not follow suit.
4. Why the UC Schools?
As it’s the ACT/SAT test centers that are targeted as unfair, one would think that students would go after the testing providers rather than the universities that are accepting these exams. However, any time you take a PSAT or SAT exam, you sign a clause that gives up your rights to the College Board.
Overall, these circumstances may only last during COVID-19 as both the ACT and SAT are committed to offering accommodations to students who do have disabilities as a general policy. Moving forward, we need to open up the discussion about equality among everyone.