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Pinedale Online > News > January 2023 > Many Ivy League schools wonít require ACT or SAT scores for 2023-2024 college admission

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Many Ivy League schools wonít require ACT or SAT scores for 2023-2024 college admission
by Pinedale Online!
January 22, 2023

Even before COVID-19 shuttered colleges and universities around the nation, many higher education institutions were debating whether or not to require ACT or SAT test score results as an admission decider. School closures due to COVID-19 forced instruction to move to online learning and made it impossible for students to gather for formal test taking.

Pandemic-caused school closures caused many institutions to be very concerned about the impact on their schoolsí finances and enrollment. As a result, many institutions made the decision to make the ACT and SAT tests optional through the high school class of 2024 and some to 2025.

But even before the COVID-19 pandemic many institutions were already considering dropping these tests as part of their admission requirements. Test-optional and test-blind admissions had already begun to gain momentum even before COVID hit. Test blind means whether or not a student decides to send their test scores, they won't be considered as part of the application evaluation. Test optional means it is optional whether or not students send in their test results when applying for admission.

When the pandemic made it difficult to safely administer the tests, the test-optional option became available for high school seniors to apply to most colleges without submitting a score. Those advocating removing ACT/SAT testing requirements argue in part that the tests themselves hurt the odds of those who traditionally donít do as well on tests. Those include students whose first language isnít English, Black and Hispanic students, immigrant students, students whose families canít afford expensive test prep programs, students who are academically, physically or fiscally disadvantaged. Another argument is that some students are disadvantaged just by the stress and sacrifice to their physical and mental health in taking the ACT or SAT college entrance exams.

With the pandemic now over and the return to in-person classroom learning, some institutions of higher education have gone back to requiring a score for admission application, but others have adopted test-optional or test-blind policies permanently.

If test scores arenít a determining factor for admission to a prestigious university, what is? Admission counselors continue to stress that grade performance does still matter, and advise students to keep working on getting good grades in high school. Other submission factors include references by counselors and teachers, extra-curricular activities, employment, community service, essays, and a "compelling life story." Many institutions say they are moving to more "holistic" review processes to evaluate college applicants. Using gender and race in the process is not allowed at public colleges, but at private colleges it will often be a factor, although the Supreme Court is hearing cases on the issue. Race is among factors intentionally considered in the admissions process at colleges with affirmative action policies.

Harvard states, "Consistent with Harvardís whole-person admissions process, standardized tests are only one factor among many. Accomplishments in and out of the classroom during the high school years Ė including community involvement, employment, and help given to studentsí families are considered as part of our process."

Yale says, "For applicants without scores, the Admissions Committee places greater weight on other parts of the application, such as high school transcripts, recommendation letters, and essays. Competitive candidates with or without scores are those whose applications clearly demonstrate a high degree of academic preparedness, a consistent record of scholastic success, and genuine intellectual curiosity."

Columbia University says, "We will continue to evaluate all submitted information within the holistic and contextual review process that considers individual circumstances shaping each applicantís journey."

Princeton: "We will not require the submission of standardized test scores for falls 2023, 2024, and 2025 application cycles; this includes transfer applicants."

Click on the links below for related stories.

Harvard says it won't require SAT or ACT scores through 2026 By Aimee Picchi, CBS News Moneywatch, December 17, 2021

Why U.S. Colleges Are Rethinking Standardized Tests By Janet Lorin,, March 14, 2022

Harvard, Yale and 5 other Ivy League schools will not require SATs or ACTs for admissions next year, Jun 17, 2020

Inside the vast national experiment in test-optional college admissions By Erin Einhorn,, April 10, 2022

National Center for Education Statistics

How Much Does an Ivy League Education Cost? By Christy Rakoczy,, September 27, 2022

Call it a Ponzi Scheme Heather MacDonald,, April 10, 2020

Pinedale Online > News > January 2023 > Many Ivy League schools wonít require ACT or SAT scores for 2023-2024 college admission

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