Harvard Is Latest Ivy League School to Bring Back Standardized Tests

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 17, 2024

Harvard University

Harvard College has announced it will reinstate its standardized testing requirement for undergraduate admissions, beginning with the Class of 2029 cycle.

That means that students applying to Harvard College for the fall 2025 admission must submit standardized test scores. With this decision, the university joins the ranks of other Ivy League schools like Brown, Yale, and Dartmouth, all of which have also reinstated the same requirement, Erudera.com reports.

“Starting with next year’s admissions cycle, Harvard College will require the submission of standardized test scores. The College will accept the SAT or ACT to meet the standardized test requirement,” Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Hopi Hoekstra said.

Hoekstra explained that the decision to bring back standardized tests was motivated by several factors. She emphasized that standardized test scores are the best predictors of the academic performance of all students regardless of their background and life experiences.

According to her, such information is valuable for identifying the best talents from different socioeconomic ranges. When the university is test-optional, students might choose not to submit their test scores, which “could have potentially helped their application,” she said.

The university said it will accept SAT or ACT scores in student applications. However, it explained that other eligible tests will be accepted in exceptional circumstances, where SAT or ACT cannot be accessed.

“Reinstating this requirement brings important information back into the admissions process. That said, we recognize that this requirement also brings certain challenges. Access to testing should never prevent a student from applying to Harvard,” Hoekstra said, pointing out that students’ ability to pay should also never prevent them from applying to Harvard.

Colleges and universities in the United States stopped requiring standardized test scores for undergraduate admissions in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harvard’s test-optional policy was expected to continue until the Class of 2030 admission cycle. Admission experts previously criticized the university for keeping the policy, even as other Ivy League schools began requiring test scores again.

Harvard accepted 3.59 percent of applicants to its Class of 2028. Of 54,008 applications, only 1,937 earned admission. This is the highest acceptance rate in four years.

Last year, the institution accepted 3.41 percent of applicants for the Class of 2027, 3.19 percent for the Class of 2026, and 3.4 percent for the Class of 2025.

Of the majority of applicants offered admission offers from Harvard, 53.1 percent are women, and 46.9 percent are men. Over 20 percent are the first in their families to attend a four-year institution.

Image source: Twitter account of Harvard University

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