In major news in highly selective college admissions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Princeton University has eliminated its Single Choice Early Action round for the Class of 2025. Instead of offering applicants the opportunity to apply by November 1st for Early Action admission and January 1st for Regular Decision admission, Princeton will have only one application deadline for next year’s batch of applicants. In this same announcement, Princeton has decided the institution will be test-optional for the Class of 2025. Applicants will still be able to submit test scores if they wish, but the school will not require the scores for the applications to be rendered complete. With Harvard University’s recent decision to go test-optional for the Class of 2025, Princeton was the last Ivy League school standing in requiring applicants to submit an SAT or ACT score. Now, all the dominoes have fallen: every Ivy League school will be test-optional for next year’s batch of applicants, a class deeply impacted by the current pandemic.
Princeton Goes Test-Optional and Drops Early Action for Class of 2025
As Princeton writes on its website, “Princeton will pause on its standardized testing requirement as part of its holistic review process for the 2020-21 application cycle. Students who sit for a standardized test and wish to submit their score will still have the option to do so. However, because of the change to policy this year, applications without test scores will be rendered complete. Students who do not submit test scores will not be at a disadvantage. As with previous years, the University does not require subject tests. The University will move to one application deadline of Jan. 1, 2021 for this first-year admission cycle. All applicants will apply using either the Coalition Application or Common Application through the Regular Decision process and will receive decisions on their applications by April 1, 2021. Princeton will continue to partner with QuestBridge and participate in the National College Match in December. This one-year standardized testing policy change extends to transfer applicants, many of whom are veterans or active-duty military. Transfer applicants will continue to have an application deadline of early March.”
Dropping Early Action Means More Than Going Test-Optional
As our loyal readers know, in our view, test-optional policies aren’t worth the paper they are written on since these schools still love to see great test scores. Only when a school forbids the submission of test scores do we take them at their word that they really don’t wish to see these figures. But Princeton’s decision to eliminate their Early round for this coming admissions cycle is an interesting one. Many argue that the Early Action round caters to the privileged and so, in these uncertain times, Princeton is attempting to level the playing field in their messaging. Or at least they’re kowtowing to mounting pressure from those who criticized the institution for taking so long to announce the school would not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. And if our readers are wondering if Ivy Coach’s crystal ball predicts Princeton’s Single Choice Early Action policy will return for applicants to the Class of 2026, the answer is a resounding yes.
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