Brown University has become the latest highly selective university to drop the SAT or ACT essay requirement from applicants. As our regular readers may remember, on July 5th when we reported that Princeton University and Stanford University were dropping the SAT or ACT essay requirement, we made a crystal ball prediction. For readers new to our college admissions blog, Ivy Coach has a crystal ball, one cited in major news publications. And while our crystal ball may be tongue in cheek, it offers highly accurate readings. On July 5th, we stated, “Princeton’s decision means that Brown University is now the lone Ivy League school to still require an essay score from the SAT or ACT. Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Columbia, Penn, and Cornell have all already dropped this requirement…Our crystal ball predicts that Brown University will drop its SAT or ACT essay requirement within the next calendar year to join its seven Ivy League siblings.” It took Brown all of one week to drop the requirement. Color us shocked.
Brown Drops SAT or ACT Essay Requirement
As stated in a Brown University press release on the decision to drop the SAT or ACT essay requirement, “Beginning with next year’s incoming undergraduate class, Brown University will no longer require prospective students to submit SAT essay or ACT writing scores when applying for admission to the University. Eliminating the requirement adds to a growing array of efforts at Brown to reduce barriers that students from low-income families may encounter when applying, said Logan Powell, the University’s dean of admission. Many students from low-income families take advantage of free SAT testing offered during the school day by the College Board, which administers the test. This enables those who might encounter difficulties taking standardized tests on a Saturday — when the SAT and ACT are traditionally offered — to avoid challenges such as finding transportation, taking time off from work or applying for a fee waiver, Powell noted.”
Brown Admissions Wants to See a Graded Paper
And just like with Princeton University, Brown would like to receive a graded paper now from applicants — preferably from a humanities or social sciences course. As we told our readers last week, we will help our students applying to Brown and Princeton edit these papers they’ll ultimately submit before their teachers grade them. Good writing is about rewriting. Every great author has an editor. Every great television and feature writer has a studio or network executive (often in addition to an agent, non-writing producer, etc. offering feedback). College applicants should be no different. This is a writing sample that will be reviewed by college admissions officers. It’s thus as important as all admissions essays.
Think you shouldn’t submit an SAT or ACT essay score to Brown because they dropped the requirement? Think again. That which is required in highly selective college admission and that which wows admissions officers are two totally different things. We believe it’s a red flag to not submit an SAT or ACT essay score even to colleges that don’t require these scores. Choose to listen to us. Or don’t. The choice is yours. But our students at Ivy Coach — you can bet they’ll be listening.
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