Stop Guessing About Test Optional Admissions

With continued, widespread test optional admissions policies, where students are not required to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their college applications, inevitably, students, under the misconception that an acceptance letter is THE objective of college admissions, worry about unwittingly harming their admissions evaluation by either adding or excluding test scores from their application.  With test-optional admissions, students…

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MIT Reinstates SAT or ACT Admissions Requirements for Fall 2023

Bucking the trend, on March 28, 2022, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reinstated requirements for submitting an SAT or ACT score for the next Fall 2023 first year admissions cycle. In opposition to MIT though, every Ivy League college, plus Stanford and CalTech, have extended test-optional policies for at least another year. (Georgetown University is a notable highly selective college…

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Advice about Test Optional/Test Free/Test Blind Admissions Policies

With test optional/test free/test blind admissions policies, applicants (and their families) are empowered with choice how to present a student’s unique qualifications for admissions. Yet, like with any choice, being informed to choose responsibly is essential.  First, as previously posted in What’s the difference between Test-Optional, Test-Blind, and Test-Free College Admissions Policies?, students must understand the difference between test optional,…

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All Ivy League Colleges Extend Test Optional Admissions for Fall 2023…and for a few, beyond 2023

For at least one more application cycle, all Ivy League applicants will once again consider if they can demonstrate their aptitude with a standardized test score. Yale and Princeton admissions officers recently announced maintaining test optional admissions policies through Fall 2023, joining the rest of the Ivy League colleges, although with varying timeframes for the extensions.  Admissions officers at Brown,…

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So Goes Harvard…

As of December 16, 2021, Harvard is the latest college to join the chorus of admissions officers extending test optional/test-blind/test-free admissions policies for at least the next Fall 2023 application cycle and often beyond. (Longstanding Harvard Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons announced extending test-optional admissions policies for the next four years through Fall 2026 admissions, impacting…

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What’s the difference between Test-Optional, Test-Blind, and Test-Free College Admissions Policies?

For Fall 2022 admissions, nearly two-thirds of U.S. universities will again use test-optional, test-blind, or test-free admissions policies. Yet, for an entire generation of applicants (and their parents) for whom college admissions is synonymous with “take the SAT or ACT”, differentiating the policies can be helpful to continue strategizing for their individual college educational goals.  Under test-optional policies, students can…

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Possible Test-Optional Admissions Prejudice?

Before COVID, submitting SAT or ACT scores were a must for every college applicant. During COVID though, test-optional policies were widely and quickly implemented to preserve as much access to college admissions as possible since many test centers (which are schools) closed, so SAT’s and ACT’s couldn’t be administered.  While many laud the change in policy, others may now be…

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Post-Pandemic Innovation in Education a Real Possibility

During the last fifteen months of living a pandemic disrupted experience, kids experienced unstructured days amidst distance learning and suspension of regularly scheduled activities. Simply seeking to stave off boredom, many (re)discovered talents.   Perhaps a break from running on the hamster wheel of modern family life, chasing prosperity was just what we needed. Pandemics throughout history have disrupted, short-circuiting the status…

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News 93.1 KFBK interview with Jill Yoshikawa of Creative Marbles Consultancy

More about University of California Test Free Admissions

I recently talked with Aubrey Aquino of News Radio KFBK’s Morning Show about how the University of California’s (UC’s) test-free policy is impacting students through the Class of 2025 (current eighth graders) and potentially increases the subjectivity in admissions evaluations.  Take a listen Browse our previous posts about how UC admissions staff evaluates students, as well as more about how…

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What the University of California test-free policy means for applicants

Given the University of California (UC) test-free admissions policy, potential UC applicants will need to rethink how they prepare for admissions as well as frame their qualifications when applying, as subjectivity in admissions evaluations will likely increase: As more students may be emboldened to apply, especially those who believe standardized test scores do not reflect their aptitude, thus increasing applicant…

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College Admissions In the Time of COVID

Recently, I spoke with families at the Sacramento Buddhist Church about the current state of education, particularly changes to the college admissions process as a result of the near holistic COVID-induced disruption. I’ve highlighted several issues in the following post, as well as included the full recording. Questions about widespread test-optional admissions dominated our conversation, as a multi-generational precedent in…

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CA State University

All California State Universities Are Test Blind for Fall 2022

The following is the emailed response from the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office in relation to our Open Letter to California State University Chancellor Castro, asking for clarification about the CSU Fall 2022 testing policy. Of note: Dr. Grommo, CSU Systemwide Director of Enrollment Management Services, states that all 23 CSU campuses will enact test-blind admissions policies, not considering…

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CA State University

Open Letter to California State University Chancellor Castro

Dear Chancellor Castro: I respectfully seek clarification about the suspended requirement to submit SAT or ACT scores for Fall 2022 admissions, concerned that Fall 2022 applicants may wrongly assess their opportunities for admissions, thus potentially affecting their decision to submit a CSU application.  In preparing to advise clients about Fall 2022 admissions, I noted a discrepancy between the California State…

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