New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

NYU considers reinstating standardized testing requirement

The announcement comes after some universities reinstated standardized testing requirements, citing that test-optional policies could disadvantage lower-income students.
Alexandra Chan
(Alexandra Chan for WSN)

NYU is reconsidering its test-optional policy for next year’s admissions cycle after some universities across the country found that the approach could disadvantage lower-income students. The university is following in the footsteps of schools like Yale University, Brown University and Dartmouth University — all of which have recently announced a return to mandatory standardized testing policies — and is reviewing internal data to determine the best way forward.

The university is also participating in a national study run by the Academic Research Consortium — a global partnership of individuals and organizations involved in making, testing and regulating medical devices — that will help determine the impact of submitting or not submitting test scores in the admissions process, according to NYU spokesperson John Beckman.

“The issue of whether to remain test optional is under active study and review,” Beckman wrote in a statement to WSN. “At this juncture, we have not made a final decision for next year’s admission cycle (i.e., for the class that will enter in fall 2025) about how to proceed in terms of testing policy.”

Many universities, including NYU, went test optional during the COVID-19 pandemic, when access to testing centers was difficult for many students due to closures. Test-optional policies are also seen by some universities to “[improve] access, broadly speaking, for low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation students,” although research on their effectiveness at increasing enrollment in these groups has yielded mixed results.

But a review of internal data by Dartmouth found that some lower-income students who were not admitted would have been accepted if they had submitted their test scores, which they had incorrectly believed were too low to secure admission. In February, the school announced that it would begin to require standardized test scores for the class of 2029.

A few weeks later, Yale announced it would return to mandatory standardized testing policies, also citing concerns that its test-optional policies had inadvertently disadvantaged low-income applicants. Brown followed suit earlier this month.

Like many other universities, NYU saw significant increases in the number of applications after changing to a test-optional application process, having received a record high of over 120,000 applications in 2023. During the 2021-22 admissions cycle, the Common Application, an application form used by over 1,000 universities across the country, reported a 30% rise in the number of applications submitted on its platform.

The increase in applications has continued into this application cycle, with the number of first-year undergraduate applications to private institutions on the Common Application up 7% this year. Total applications also went up, increasing by 9% from last year, and the number of applicants who identified as underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities went up by 12%.At NYU, a number of tests — including the SAT, ACT and AP exams — are accepted as standardized tests in a student’s application.

Contact Ruhan Ganpath at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Alexandra Chan
Alexandra Chan, Editor-at-Large
Alexandra Chan is a junior studying history, politics and East Asian studies. She has done her time in the basement dungeon state of mind and can't really seem to let go. Follow her @noelle.png on Instagram for inconsistent posting but aesthetically pleasing rows. She doesn't know what Twitter is.

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  • E

    Eyad Ali, MDApr 3, 2024 at 4:07 pm

    I think if NYU wants to follow in the footsteps of less diverse schools like Yale, Brown and Dartmouth, then they should copy their testing policy. If however, NYU wants to continue its amazing reputation as a globally diverse institution, then they should remain test optional and pave the way for other schools to emulate their outstanding success.

  • Y

    YaYa HilaMar 29, 2024 at 1:24 pm

    This is highly unfair to students applying in the fall 2024. If NYU decides to go test mandatory now, students will have to rush to take SAT in the summer. No, please don’t do this to the already over-stressed high schoolers.