In a word: Diversity.

Which sounds good. But, in a recent column in The Hechinger Report, Stephen Burd asks whether schools have “a less altruistic reason” for going test-optional.

“By going test-optional, they appear to be doing one thing but [are really] doing another,” Burd told me in a recent interview from his office at New America, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

The question is: Beyond the admirable goal of wanting to reach more traditionally underrepresented students, why else would schools go test-optional?

“Number One,” says Burd, getting more applications “allows schools to then reject more students.”