Georgetown University isn’t exactly a trendsetter in highly selective college admissions. Years after America’s elite colleges began notifying applicants of their admissions decisions electronically, this past March, Georgetown finally decided to stop snail mailing decisions. Yes, it took a worldwide pandemic for Georgetown’s Dean of Admissions Charles Deacon, a lion of elite college admissions, to finally start notifying applicants of their admissions decisions electronically. Welcome to this young century, Dean Deacon! And it’s not like Georgetown’s habit of bucking the trend in admissions ends there.
Some Call Georgetown’s “Test-Optional” Policy Confusing, Yet It’s Actually Just More Honest
When other highly selective universities switched to “test-optional” this year due to the pandemic, a begrudging Georgetown did so as well, although it made fairly clear that their test-optional policy should be taken with six grains of salt (side note: in our view, so should all “test-optional” policies). As Sarah Weber writes for The Georgetown Voice, “While Georgetown still encourages students to submit test scores as part of their application, the admissions process will not penalize students who do not submit SAT or ACT scores…Georgetown will allow AP test scores to cover the previously optional, although highly recommended, submission of SAT subject test scores. As with SAT and ACT scores, applicants are asked to submit scores from any SAT subject test scores they took prior to the pandemic, though it is not required.” We urge our readers to read between the lines of that policy! But, hey, at least Georgetown is being forthright about their “test-optional” policy. So many elite universities this year just can’t say the same, with the notable exceptions of Caltech, Yale, and MIT.
Georgetown’s Dean of Admissions Has Long Been Transparent
But just how honest will Georgetown be at the end of this admissions cycle? Dean Deacon is, in many ways, a Bill James-type figure in college admissions. For those unfamiliar with Bill James, with the help of folks like Billy Beane and Sandy Alderson, he pretty much pioneered using sabermetrics — or the use of data-driven analytics — in baseball. Like James, Dean Deacon loves to analyze admissions data. In fact, Dean Deacon is known for publicly sharing detailed analyses about the admissions figures of each incoming class, a move we’ve always supported since it speaks to his desire for transparency. Just have a look for yourselves at some of Dean Deacon’s past detailed analyses. But will Dean Deacon release such a report this year? Because if he chooses to do so, he’ll reveal just how “test-optional” Georgetown was this admissions cycle. He’ll have to reveal how many students earned admission without submitting an SAT or ACT as well as SAT Subject Tests.
Our Guess Is Georgetown’s Dean of Admissions Will Remain Transparent
Our guess? Dean Deacon will release the figures just as he always does. Because Dean Deacon, while he may be old-school, is — at his core — honest. Admissions officers who claim that a student who doesn’t submit scores, all else being equal, has the same chance as a student who submits great scores just isn’t being honest. Dean Deacon has no problem bucking the trend. He has no problem speaking truth to a silent majority of people who understand that “test-optional” policies are fairly meaningless (in spite of what the angry, vocal minority may suggest to the contrary). It’s why we salute Dean Deacon today for all of his work through the years in the admissions process. Way to tell it like it is, Dean Deacon. Way to be forthright. Way to speak truth to power. You are a hero of this college admissions blog today and always.
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