Message on Behalf of Brown’s Afro-Latinx Alliance, Latinas@Brown, and the Students for Educational Equity

Posted on: Mar 10th, 2021

9.8% of Brown’s student body is Latinx, reflecting barely half of the country’s 18%. Why is this?

One major cause is the persistence of standardized testing requirements.

Requiring SAT/ACT scores puts Latinx students at an unfair disadvantage: controlling for all other factors, Latinx students do worse on standardized tests than their white peers, despite these tests having no predictive value of college success (sources at bottom). When colleges go SAT-optional, they see a major rise in the number of Latinx students.

Brown’s Afro-Latinx Alliance, Latinas@Brown, and Students for Educational Equity undergraduate groups are campaigning for Brown to go permanently SAT-optional. Below, you’ll see their written endorsements. 

Alumni, we need your help to make this happen. Sign at to call for an SAT-optional Brown!

Statement from Latinas@Brown:

The SAT/ACTs have long misrepresented what BIPOC students are capable of, hurt their access to various opportunities, and unfairly barred them from a Brown education. Latinas@Brown believes that Brown must do more to ensure equitable and fair access for all students, regardless of their backgrounds. In keeping with this mission, we are joining the call for Brown to go test-optional.

Although Brown outwardly portrays itself as being an inclusive environment, it was created and continues to exist within a settler-colonialist state. There is still a lot of work required for us to meaningfully shift the foundation – to not just include, but to center, BIPOC students. Making standardized tests optional is only one of the first steps forward.

Statement from the Afro-Latinx Alliance:

The Afro-Latinx Alliance supports and endorses the demand to go SAT-optional. The SAT/ACTs unfairly bar Black and Latinx students from Brown’s campus, and a decision to return to using them would be inexcusable.

In line with our mission of ensuring equity in access for all BIPOC students, the Afro-Latinx Alliance joins the call to go SAT-optional at Brown. With years of research showing that standardized testing discriminates against and disadvantages BIPOC applicants, there is no justifiable reason for Brown to reimplement a broken system. 

Standardized testing has been consistently shown to exacerbate racial inequalities and deny access to BIPOC students, despite having no predictive value of college success. Their existence is inherently unfair and harmful toward numerically underrepresented students. The Afro-Latinx Alliance adds their voice to the call for implementing SAT-optional policies at Brown. 

The Afro-Latinx Alliance believes that Brown should be an inclusive, equitable, and welcoming space for all, as the institution claims to be.  The decision to use SAT/ACTs in our admissions, which blatantly discriminates against BIPOC students, stand in direct contradiction of this goal. Consequently, we’re demanding that Brown go SAT-optional. 

The SATs and ACTs magnify and reinforce existing admission inequities. As part of their commitment to recruiting a diverse pool of applicants, the Afro-Latinx Alliance calls on Brown to go permanently SAT-optional. 

The SAT/ACTs consistently and falsely produce results that suggest BIPOC students are less deserving than their White peers. Brown’s SAT/ACT-required policy needlessly perpetuates inequity and injustice. The Afro-Latinx Alliance joins the call to go SAT-optional at Brown. 

To Learn More: