The Gaokao Exam Comes to America

Gaokao, Gaokao Test, Gaokao Exam

UNH will accept the Gaokao scores of students applying to the university from China.

Have you heard of the Gaokao? The Gaokao is the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, an exam held annually for students typically completing their last year of high school in China. Like the SAT or ACT at most highly selective universities in the United States (with the exception of test-optional schools), the super stressful, nine-hour long Gaokao is required by almost all universities in China for students to pursue an undergraduate education. But guess what? The Gaokao is coming to America. “Everywhere around the world; They’re coming to America; Every time that flag’s unfurled; They’re coming to America…” Sorry, Neil Diamond got in our heads there for a second. Anyway, just how is the Gaokao coming to America?

University of New Hampshire Will Accept Gaokao Scores

As regular readers of our college admissions blog know very well, international admits from China are often full-pays — as in these students do not receive financial aid to subsidize their tuition costs. As tuition dollars matter a great deal to universities (and this is especially the case for less selective public universities, like the University of New Hampshire!), it would stand to reason that schools would bend over backwards in order to make it even easier for students from China to apply to their institutions of higher learning. And that’s precisely what UNH is doing by agreeing to accept Gaokao scores from students hailing from China in the admissions process.

As Tiffany May writes in a piece for “The New York Times” entitled “For Survivors of a 9-Hour Chinese Exam, a Door Opens to America,” “The University of New Hampshire says it will start accepting scores from the Chinese exam, making it the first flagship state school in the United States to evaluate Chinese applicants using the results from that test, known as the gaokao. There are 377,000 Chinese students in the United States, representing more than one third of all international students, according to the federal government. Since they often pay full tuition, they are an important source of revenue for American universities, which have been intensifying their efforts to recruit Chinese students.”

We think it’s mighty clever of the University of New Hampshire to accept Gaokao scores. The school smarty recognizes the benefits of matriculating Chinese students. One such benefit is its bottom line. And since universities — even public universities — are ultimately businesses, it makes good, practical business sense to make it easier for the students you wish to attract to apply in the first place. But what do our readers think of the Gaokao exam coming to America? Let us know what’s going on inside your heads by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.


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