Columbia University has announced that they will no longer require applicants to take the ACT or SAT as part of the admissions process. The New York-based school was one of many Ivy League schools that chose to suspend test requirements because of the pandemic. Most universities adopted this policy with the intent that it would be temporary, but Columbia is the first to make it permanent. But could this be the new future of college admissions?
A statement from Columbia reads,
Applicants to the undergraduate program and School of Engineering can still opt to take the tests to enhance their applications. In these cases, the same policies will apply, and the test scores will not negatively impact applications. Previously, the school had planned to suspend the test requirement through the fall of 2024.
Columbia wants to shift the focus from test scores to “the rigor of a student's curriculum, their academic achievement, and their demonstrated intellectual curiosity."
Here is a breakdown of how other high profile universities are implementing their SAT/ACT testing policy:
NYU also made ACT and SAT scores optional due to the pandemic, and they expected to carry the policy through the 2023-2024 application window.
An organization named FairTest, which is “against the misuse and overuse of standardized tests in education” has compiled a list of over 1,800 schools across the US that are currently test-optional. However, most of these schools only have a temporary test-optional policy. So if standardized testing isn’t your thing and your greater strengths lie in your GPA. extracurriculars, essay writing, or leadership opportunities, this could be a welcome change.
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