Published: March 19, 2021

Three CU Boulder student leaders took action Thursday to make higher education admissions potentially more equitable for future college students. 

Students testifying at the Colorado legislature.

Molly Frommelt, top left, Eyob Abai, bottom left, and Jesse Alardin Rivera, center, testify before the Colorado House Education Committee. (Credit: Molly Frommelt)

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Molly Frommelt, a CU Student Government tri-executive; Eyob Abai, Leeds Student Government president; and Jesse Alardin Rivera, an EXCEL Scholar at the Leeds School of Business, testified Thursday in the Colorado House Education Committee on behalf of a bill making Colorado higher education admissions considerations “test optional.” Current state law mandates consideration of national assessment tests like the ACT and the SAT in higher education admissions decisions.

The trio spoke about their individual experiences with national assessment tests. All three are first-generation Americans and first-generation college students who said it was a challenge to navigate the national assessment test landscape without spending hundreds of dollars on private tutors or paying to take the tests multiple times. Abai and Alardin Rivera said they felt their ACT scores poorly reflected their academic abilities, endangering their dreams of higher education success.

Clark Brigger, executive director of admissions at CU Boulder, also testified in front of the committee. He said thousands of Colorado students opted out of providing test scores this year, largely thanks to a temporary relief the legislature passed last year in response to COVID-19. Brigger said that volume proved the potential popularity of an expanded statewide test-optional policy.

The bill, College Admission Use of National Test Score, passed the committee and will proceed to a vote from the full House.