As of December 16, 2021, Harvard is the latest college to join the chorus of admissions officers extending test optional/test-blind/test-free admissions policies for at least the next Fall 2023 application cycle and often beyond. (Longstanding Harvard Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons announced extending test-optional admissions policies for the next four years through Fall 2026 admissions, impacting current high school juniors through eighth graders.)
Already for Fall 2023 admissions, Ivy League colleges—Columbia* and Cornell*—and Ivy-like colleges, Stanford and CalTech have announced extended test-optional policies. In mid-November 2021, Michael Brown, University of California (UC) provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, announced the UC, serving over 225,000 students, will remain test-free (not requiring nor will consider an SAT or ACT score) “now and into the future”. (EdSource, 11/18/21)
Additionally, on December 15, 2022, Chancellor Joseph Castro, head of the 23 campus California State University (CSU) system, announced support for dropping the SAT and ACT scores as a requirement for admissions starting Fall 2023 and beyond. However, the full CSU Board of Trustees will not vote on the proposed change until March 2022.
Georgetown and public universities in Georgia, like Georgia Tech, are notable exceptions, instead reversing test-optional policies for the current Fall 2022 admissions cycle, again requiring SAT and ACT scores to be submitted with applications. However, the question is, “Will they withstand the trend to remove the testing requirement from admissions? Or will applicant numbers, in other words demand for admissions, drop as potential applicants’ mindset shifts toward test-optional admissions?”
*Columbia & Cornell will be test-optional for Fall 2024 as well.
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