More Universities Extend Test-Optional Policies

JHU and Northwestern extended their test-optional admissions policies (photo credit: Iracaz).

Yale University and Princeton University recently extended their test-optional admissions policies through the fall of 2023, which means that all eight Ivy League schools will remain test-optional for at least another year. And the Ivies, of course, are not alone in extending their test-optional admissions policies among the highly selective universities. This week, we can report that Northwestern University and Johns Hopkins University have also extended their test-optional admissions policies through the fall of 2023. This, of course, is little surprise to those navigating the churning waters of elite college admissions. The writing is on the wall. We don’t anticipate that the SAT or ACT will ever be mandatory at our nation’s elite universities again.

As Northwestern’s admissions committee writes on its website, “Until 2020, Northwestern required undergraduate applicants to submit an SAT or ACT score to be considered for admission. As students navigate challenges to testing and college access during the pandemic, we have adopted a test-optional policy through the 2022–23 admission cycles. Applicants may submit an SAT or ACT score if they wish, but these scores are not required. Whether or not a student chooses to submit an SAT or ACT score, that student may submit additional, optional forms of testing (e.g. Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate scores) for consideration in the review process.”

As Johns Hopkins’ admissions committee writes on its website, “Because of the continued impact of COVID-19 on testing availability and access, Johns Hopkins University will be test-optional through the 2025-2026 application year. This means if you are applying to Hopkins as part of the class entering in the fall of 2023, 2024, 2025, or 2026, you will not need to submit test scores to be considered for admission. Students who do not submit test scores are not disadvantaged in our process. Our admissions review has always been about how students navigate their academic and personal circumstances. Our holistic approach focuses on academic character, impact and initiative, and match for our community.”

Yet the loyal readers of Ivy Coach’s college admissions blog don’t just accept what America’s elite colleges say at face value. So when Johns Hopkins’ admissions committee writes, “Students who do not submit test scores are not disadvantaged in our process,” our readers roll their eyes. After all, they know that, all else being equal, students with great test scores will always have an advantage over students with no scores — no matter how loudly or how vociferously admissions officers may tell you to the contrary.

 
 

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