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Yale ditches test-optional policy, saying it hurts lower-income applicants

Yale University announced Thursday it will reinstate standardized testing requirements for freshmen, joining a handful of elite schools that have scrapped controversial test-optional policies introduced during the pandemic.

The Ivy League school said the current policy “disadvantages low-income, first-generation, and rural students.”

For students in well-resourced high schools, there are many alternatives to standardized tests, including transcripts filled with advanced courses, recommendations from laudatory teachers, and extracurriculars to prove a student’s qualifications.

As a result, high-performing students in poorly equipped schools can quickly exhaust the resources available to them to showcase their potential on paper.


Yale, like other elite schools, plans to eliminate its controversial test-optional policy and reinstate standardized testing requirements for freshmen. Getty Images

The school in New Haven, Conn., says, “With no test scores to compensate for these factors, applications from students attending these schools provide admissions officers with no evidence of their readiness to attend Yale.” may remain in short supply.”

Starting with the class of 2029, students will be required to submit scores on a new “flexible test” of one of four exams: SAT, ACT, Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB).

According to the school’s internal research cited, Yale’s admissions data prior to the pandemic shows that test scores hold the highest predictive value for a student’s subsequent performance at Yale.

Yale, along with fellow Ivy League school Dartmouth, along with Georgetown and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), are once again requiring students to submit scores.

“Trends like this tend to have a snowball effect, so as more top schools reinstate the requirement, we expect more to follow,” said education platform Kaplan. Brian Curridge told Yahoo! finance.

But only about 15% of test-optional schools are reconsidering their policies in 2023, according to a recent survey by Kaplan College Admissions Officers.


Yale University said the optional testing policy
Yale University said the optional testing policy “disadvantages low-income, first-generation, and rural students.”

More than 80% of four-year colleges support a test-optional policy for fall 2025 admissions, according to data from FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Public Testing.

Hundreds of educational institutions, including Columbia University and California State University campuses, have permanently adopted test-optional or test-blind policies.

Proponents of test-optional policies argue that standardized tests can help certain applicants who have traditionally performed less well on tests, such as black and Hispanic students, immigrants, and students whose families cannot afford expensive test preparation programs. He continues to argue that it will be detrimental to the group.

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