Yale reinstates SAT, ACT admissions requirement, claiming it will ‘increase the diversity of the student body’

News & Politics

Another Ivy League school announced Thursday that it plans to reinstate standardized testing requirements for undergraduate applicants, the College Fix reported.

Yale recently declared that its fall 2025 applicants must submit scores from at least one of four standardized tests. According to Yale News, the university has recently adopted a new test-flexible policy incorporating more testing options. In addition to SAT and ACT scores, undergraduates can now submit Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate scores.

Yale allowed undergraduate applicants to opt out of submitting test scores for four years. Several other schools, including Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, New York University, and Stanford University, dropped admissions testing requirements during the 2021-2022 application cycle. The College Fix reported that over 1,900 colleges and universities had test-optional admissions policies in 2023.

Yale’s dean of undergraduate admissions and financial aid, Jeremiah Quinlan, told Yale News that the new policy could help increase diversity.

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“The entire admissions office staff is keenly aware of the research on the correlations between standardized test scores and household income as well as the persistent gaps by race. Our experience, however, is that including test scores as one component of a thoughtful whole-person review process can help increase the diversity of the student body rather than decrease it,” Quinlan stated.

“If I thought this policy was likely to set any of those efforts back, we would not adopt it,” Quinlan added.

While Yale had a test-optional policy, the university found that some applicants omitted scores that would have improved their chances of acceptance.

Quinlan explained, “We found that by inviting students to apply without any scores, some applicants unwittingly hurt their chances of admission by withholding scores that would have been useful to the admissions committee, even though they were below the median range of our enrolling students.”

More than 1,000 undergraduates who did not submit test scores have been admitted to Yale.

“Our analyses have found that applicants without test scores have been less likely to be admitted; concerningly, this was especially true for applicants from lower-income backgrounds and those attending high schools with fewer college-preparatory courses,” Quinlan noted.

Dartmouth College, a private Ivy League university in New Hampshire, announced earlier this month that standardized testing scores would once again be required for admission beginning with the class of 2029, Blaze News previously reported.

The college similarly argued that the change would “improve — not detract from — our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus.”

Dartmouth College economics professor Bruce Sacerdote also noted that some applicants previously opted not to share test scores when it could have “helped that student tremendously, maybe tripling their chance of admissions.”

According to Quinlan, standardized testing scores remain “the single greatest predictor of a student’s performance in Yale courses in every model we have constructed.”

“Our process is, of course, very selective, but it is also holistic and contextual. Each applicant is considered as an individual, and officers conduct a whole-person review of each file,” Quinlan added.

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