NYU Testing Requirements Remain Unchanged for Class of 2025

NYU plans to continue requiring standardized tests for future applications despite COVID-19 complications.


Alexandra Chan

Standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT have worried many college applicants. NYU will not be test-optional for applicants for the Class of 2025. (Staff Photo by Alexandra Chan)

Julia Santiago, Contributing Writer

As high schoolers prepare for the upcoming college application season during the coronavirus, many institutions across the United States have decided to abandon standardized testing requirements. NYU will not do the same.

“NYU is not planning to change its Standardized Testing policy for the next admissions cycle,” Assistant Vice President for NYU’s Undergraduate Admissions Jonathan Williams told WSN in an email. 

California’s UC system, Cornell University, Harvard University and Amherst College are only a few of the schools which have waived their standardized testing requirements for the incoming class of 2025.

NYU says it prides itself on flexible testing application requirements, which can be fulfilled through various means, including SAT, ACT, SAT subject tests and AP test scores. While this policy will not be changed due to COVID-19, Williams emphasized that the university considers many aspects of an application.

At NYU, we conduct a holistic application review,” Williams said. “This means that we consider a student’s academic performance and test scores in conjunction with other, more qualitative factors (recommendation letters, extracurricular activities, and writing, just to name a few). All of these areas impact our decisions, and no singular factor ever determines an outcome.”

Whereas the necessity of standardized tests has been heavily debated over recent years, the spread of COVID-19 and the cancellation of scheduled exams for the spring have both led many schools to cancel or reconsider their use. 

Other top schools are using the opportunity to reevaluate their testing policy. Davidson College and Williams College have implemented three-year pilot programs in which testing will not be required to determine whether the requirement should be permanently thrown out. 

“If future test dates are not available in students’ local areas or if students are worried about how to test in a socially distant manner, we do not want them to feel pressure to put themselves in situations that are not in their best interest,” Amherst Dean of admission and financial aid Matt McGann told the New York Times. “And we wanted to provide clarity and ease anxiety as soon as we could.”

Williams discussed the requirements still in place for incoming NYU applicants, highlighting the flexibility the university will offer in light of growing concerns. 

“Our current policy allows for applicants to choose from a variety of standardized tests to submit as a part of their application,” Williams said. “We are sympathetic to the hardships applicants are facing due to COVID-19 and would be responsive to what applicants tell us about the difficulties they may have taking standardized tests.” 

Email Julia Santiago at [email protected]