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Education

“Harvard University Joins Ivy League in Reinstating SAT and ACT for Admissions”

Joining its Ivy League counterparts such as Yale, Dartmouth, and Brown, Harvard University has declared its intent to reinstate the standardized testing requirement for admissions, commencing with the Class of 2029.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard revealed on Thursday that prospective students applying for fall 2025 admission would need to submit standardized test scores. This new policy, effective from the Class of 2029 admissions cycle, will undergo regular evaluation.

Initially, Harvard had indicated that the test-optional policy would persist until applications for the Class of 2030, as reported by The Harvard Crimson.

While the university will primarily accept SAT or ACT scores to fulfill the standardized test requirement, it will consider other eligible tests in exceptional cases where accessibility is a concern.

Hopi Hoekstra, the Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, stated that the decision to reintroduce testing after nearly four years was informed by various factors. Emphasizing the role of standardized tests in providing predictive insights into students’ potential for academic success, Hoekstra highlighted the importance of access to such information, irrespective of students’ backgrounds or life experiences.

Hoekstra noted the possibility of students choosing not to submit their test scores under the test-optional policy, potentially withholding information that could have bolstered their applications. He underscored the value of comprehensive information in identifying talent across diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Echoing sentiments expressed by other Ivy League institutions, Harvard referred to research conducted by Harvard Professors Raj Chetty and David J. Deming, along with John N. Friedman, underscoring the significance of standardized tests, particularly in conjunction with other academic credentials, in identifying promising students.

However, Harvard reiterated that standardized test scores constitute just one facet of the application review process. William R. Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, emphasized that while test scores offer valuable insights, the admissions committee meticulously evaluates each application holistically.

Harvard’s decision follows similar moves by Yale and Dartmouth, which announced the reinstatement of standardized testing requirements earlier this year. Dartmouth College clarified that its previous test-optional policy, implemented in June 2020, was intended as a short-term measure in response to prevailing circumstances.

As Ivy League institutions reconsider their admissions policies, the debate surrounding the role of standardized testing in evaluating student potential continues to evolve.

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