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Yale University Has Joined Other Top Colleges in Reinstating the Requirement for Sat Scores, Stating that It Will Help Disadvantaged Applicants

Credits: Poets&Quants for Undergrads

Yale University announced on Thursday that it is reversing its test-optional policy for standardized test scores, such as the SAT exam, that it implemented during the pandemic. This change aligns Yale with other top colleges like Dartmouth and MIT.

Yale had adopted the test-optional approach four years ago due to the pandemic shutting down testing centers and making it difficult for many high school juniors and seniors to take the exams. However, the university found that the test-optional policy may actually hurt the chances of lower-income applicants to gain admission.

During the test-optional admissions period, applicants could choose whether or not to submit their test scores. Yale’s admissions officers then put greater weight on other parts of the application, which disadvantaged applicants from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

Yale University (Credits: The Washington Post)

Students from wealthier school districts or private schools could include additional signals of achievement, such as advanced courses, which students from less affluent schools often lacked due to limited course offerings.

Yale’s new policy will require students to submit standardized test scores, but they can also choose to report Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exam scores instead of the ACT or SAT.

The university believes that providing a standardized test score, even if it’s lower than the median SAT range for Yale students, can demonstrate an applicant’s readiness for the academic rigor at Yale.

The change in policy reflects a broader debate about the role of standardized testing in college admissions, with critics arguing that such exams perpetuate inequalities.

However, Yale’s decision highlights the complexity of the issue and the university’s efforts to ensure a fair admissions process for all applicants.

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