The 5 Questions to Ask if Test-Optional is Best for Your Institution

Test Optional

Higher ed institutions are making headlines as they consider or go test-optional for admissions. Some institutions, such as the University of California system, are phasing out the SAT and ACT. Others made the decision because of the COVID-19 pandemic-prospective students simply couldn’t take the SAT or ACT.

With the test-optional decision, there are many questions and concerns from different parts of an institution, from faculty to the President:

  • How will test-optional impact future enrollment cycles at your institution?
  • Is the decision a short-term fix or a long-term strategy for your institution?
  • What’s the impact on academic quality and student retention at your institution?

Data and analytics can inform us as we make and adapt to these decisions.

During the webinar, two higher ed enrollment leaders, Patty Beeson and Andy Hannah, will discuss the trade-offs with test-optional admissions and the role of data and analytics to support your decision in the near and long term.

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What You’ll Learn

  • What is the impact of test-optional on higher ed admissions and student retention
  • How to decide if test-optional is right for your institution
  • How data and analytics can alleviate concerns and inform decisions

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About the Speakers

Patty Beeson

Professor of Economics, Former Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
Director of Research, Othot

Dr. Beeson served as provost and senior vice chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh from 2010-18. During her term as provost, the University achieved new levels of quality and impact on almost every front. Undergraduate applications, and the academic credentials, geographic and ethnic diversity of the enrolled students, and graduation and retention rates rose to new heights; faculty and students regularly earned national and international recognitions; and funded research at the University consistently ranked among the highest in the country.

Dr. Beeson’s focus on technology, data, and innovation are apparent in the new units created under her leadership. The University of Pittsburgh established the School of Computing and Information, its first new school in more than two decades; created the Innovation Institute to support and enhance technology transfer; and the provost’s Data Analytics Team, to support data driven operations and decision making throughout the University.

As Othot’s Director of Research, Patty identifies and leads cross-organizational research projects. Her research addresses key questions that higher education leaders are focused on today. By combining her higher education leadership experience and rich academic research background with Othot’s data science capabilities, Patty approaches her work in a disciplined, yet fresh and innovative way.


Andy Hannah

Chairman & Chief Partnership Officer
In 2014, Andy and team founded Othot, the leader in artificial intelligence and prescriptive analytics solutions for higher education institution. Andy is an evangelist for the Othot Platform, and how the use of AI and prescriptive analytics optimizes the relationship between institutions and their prospective, current, and former students. Andy is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship and Analytics and an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh, College of Business Administration.