-The University of Chicago announced it will no longer require ACT or SAT scores from student applicants. As the Washington Post reports, Chicago says it’s adopting this test-optional policy to prevent disqualification of good candidates based on a single data point. However, it’s also noted that test-optional schools usually achieve higher, status-granting test score averages, because the better testers continue to submit scores. Regardless, the old monopolies of the ACT and College Board may be losing power.

-On a related note, as college administrators increasingly turn to analytics to inform their admissions decisions and identify students who are most likely to succeed, research by the American Enterprise institute finds that college graduation rates are more correlated with high school grades than with test scores: “The bottom line is that high school grades represent a more useful conceptual frame for college readiness than test scores do.”

-In a thoughtful column in the Irish Times, a psychologist says that “overstimulation” is a root cause of anxiety disorders suffered by many in the younger generations.

-New Hampshire’s Valley News offers fascinating profiles of “what 2.2 per cent unemployment looks like for businesses in the Upper Valley.” According to a healthcare club owner in the area, “If you put an ad in the newspaper for anything less than $12 (an hour), you will not get an answer. Just nobody’s interested.”

-A study by the New America policy group finds that financial aid award letters (sent to students after acceptance) often mislead students through use of confusing jargon and omission of important cost information. As an example, among the 11,000 letters they reviewed, researchers identified 136 unique terms for various types of student loans, including 24 that did not use the word “loan.” Because so many of these letters require “decoding,” New America concludes “it is exceedingly difficult for students and families to make a financially-informed college decision.”

-Financial services company Discover announced its employees have access to free, online, bachelor’s degree-granting programs provided by the University of Florida, Brandman University, and Wilmington University. Earlier this month, Walmart announced a similar program (but with costs of $1 per day for employees) which also involves partnerships with Florida and Brandman.

-American University’s law school has partnered with digital education provider 2U to offer a new, online Master of Legal Studies program. The MLS degree is appropriate for non-lawyers whose professions require a good understanding of the legal system. The 30-credit program will include both live and on-demand coursework.

-If you like a little celebrity sizzle in your higher ed news, check out Insider’s list of “Where 21 of the Richest Americans Went to College.” Note the headline does not say “graduated,” because some of these uber-rich are college dropouts (and we’ll leave it to you to determine whether there’s a relationship there).

-We were surprised to come across an article, dated June 13, 2018, whose headline begins, “Americans say goodbye to VCR’s.” Unfortunately the story didn’t address whether these new cellular phones are going to be a thing.