Cornell Extends Test-Optional Policy to 2023-2024

Cornell University will continue to be SAT or ACT optional for the time being (photo credit: Sach1tb).

Cornell University, the first of the Ivy League institutions to go test-optional at the height of the pandemic, will remain test-optional through at least the 2023-2024 admissions cycle. This will impact applicants to the Cornell Class of 2028. So, being as Cornell went test-optional in the early days of the pandemic, for the Class of 2025, that means that two falls from now, all four classes at the university will have applied under a test-optional admissions policy. That’s something!

As Katherine Esterl reports for The Cornell Daily Sun in a piece entitled “University will Remain Test-Optional for 2023-24 Applicants,” “In a statement to The Sun, Vice Provost for Enrollment Jonathan Burdick, said the admissions office is working on conducting ‘whole-person reviews’ with far fewer or no SAT/ACT scores. ‘I’d say there’s significant awareness across Cornell of the challenging impacts testing policies can create in terms of assembling a diverse and well-qualified student body,’ Burdick wrote. ‘There’s much more for everyone to learn and consider.'”

And while Cornell may have been the first Ivy League institution to go test-optional, other Ivies have extended their test-optional admissions policies even further into the future. As an example, Harvard University will remain test-optional through at least the Class of 2030, a class that will apply during the 2025-2026 admissions cycle (or three cycles from now). Yet no matter how far these schools extend their test-optional admissions policies, loyal readers of Ivy Coach’s college admissions blog know where we stand on the issue: all else being equal, students with great SAT or ACT scores will always enjoy an advantage over students who choose not to submit scores. No matter what that school says to the contrary.


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  • Charlie Chusei, MD says:

    When non-Asians and non-Whites submitted abysmal scores and were far below the Academic Index to be admitted to the Ivies, the Ivies came up with a brilliant Idea- Eliminate them! So now we have people graduating from Ivy League institutions who really don’t belong there and will most likely struggle academically while there. And, sorry, ‘environment’ can account for a small part of lower test scores but certainly not a large part- and if you are not ready for an elite school you can’t dumb down the school by admitting unqualified candidates just to make a few people feel good. What kind of world do we dwell in where everyone gets a trophy? Just absurd. And Companies who used to reliably rely upon Ivy League schools to supply them with well qualified candidates are going to be very disappointed to find out the new batch of candidates are not up to the task of a job and thereby ruining the reputation of the Ivies as stellar institutions of higher learning. I made it to an Ivy League med school upon graduation from a state school, but I had to prove myself at a lower level first- and I certainly wasn’t ready out of high school. And neither are the Vast majority of the low scorers. And we know who they are- They are the ones who don’t submit scores.

  • Mariah says:

    Ha. The Academic Index has been replaced with the Compassion Index. Example: Employer Mary Smith ask a series of questions during a ‘case interview’ to recent Columbia grad John Doe, who fails miserably. She reports to Big Boss the results. Big Boss says ‘ok he knows nothing, he will cost the company money, cost us time and stretch our patience thin… but does he have a Big Heart? I mean if he is compassionate I don’t care if he is competent!’ This is where we are headed folks. And let’s face it, ‘incompetence’ is not even tolerated by the most compassionate person when they are paying for goods/services. Ivies are really damaging their brand. The go woke/go broke slogan applies here. Im no longer envious after attending a state school. 🙂

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