Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program


Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell PhD

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


Most American colleges and universities require standardized entrance exams when making admissions decisions. Scores on these exams help determine if, when and where students will be allowed to pursue higher education. These scores are also used to determine eligibility for merit based financial aid. This testing persists even though half of the institutions that require the test scores from applicants have no idea if the scores offer any valuable information about prospective students. The purpose of this study is to examine the biases inherent in standardized college entrance exams, their validity as predictors of college completion, the actual value of the information these test scores provide and corruption on the part of the testing organizations and the colleges and universities which require the exams. Findings indicate that college entrance exams, which are biased in favor of wealthy, white, male students, are not as reliable a predictor of college grades or completion within the accepted four to six year time frame as high school grade point average. Corruption in the form of cheating, abuse and misuse exists on many levels in the business of college admissions testing. Testing agencies rake in millions of dollars in profit every year yet pay no taxes because they enjoy non-profit status even though they are commercial and not educational enterprises.

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