The dominoes are falling. Columbia University has announced that the school will not require applicants to its Class of 2025 to submit SAT or ACT scores. Rather, the school will be test-optional for first-year Class of 2025 applicants to Columbia College or The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. And just like that, in just a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has ignited a fire under the test-optional movement that no one — and certainly not College Board or SAT — saw coming. Heck, not even Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball, the harbinger of all college admissions news, saw this one coming!
Columbia Says Test Scores Can Be Valuable Addition in Review Process
As Columbia’s admissions office announces on its site, “If students have completed testing and can submit SAT or ACT results, we encourage them to do so as we believe this information can be a valuable addition in our review process. However, testing is no longer a required component for the first-year 2020-2021 application cycle, and students who are unable or choose not to submit test scores will not be disadvantaged. We will continue to evaluate all submitted information within the holistic and contextual review process that considers individual circumstances shaping each applicant’s journey. The rigor of a student’s curriculum, their academic achievement, and their demonstrated intellectual curiosity will remain central to our review.”
Columbia’s Statement Says Everything You Need to Know
We encourage our readers to read Columbia’s statement very carefully: “If students have completed testing and can submit SAT or ACT results, we encourage them to do so as we believe this information can be a valuable addition in our review process.” Shall we repeat the line once more? As we have long instructed our readers, test-optional policies aren’t worth the paper they are written on. When a college admissions office says that tests “can be a valuable addition in the review process” out of one side of their mouth and “students who are unable or choose not to submit test scores will not be disadvantaged” out of the other side of their mouth, it says everything our readers need to know!
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