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Vassar Waives Standardized Tests for AdmissionNew Pilot Policy Goes into Effect for 2020–21 Applicants

Vassar College will waive its admission requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT test scores, President Elizabeth H. Bradley announced. The new pilot policy will go into effect for the 2020–21 admission cycle. The Office of Admission’s decision to go test optional was made in consultation with the College Committee on Admission and Financial Aid (CAFA) and the Board of Trustees. Bradley added that the College will evaluate the pilot after the close of the admission cycle in 2021 and determine whether to make it an ongoing policy.

Vassar College (here’s a view of the campus from a drone) has a new admissions policyPhoto: Alex Li

Bradley noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant disruptions for students, with some tests having been canceled, and with families facing other extraordinary circumstances that make taking these tests at this time an undue burden. But she said the College had been considering a test-optional policy long before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sonya K. Smith, Dean of Admission and Student Financial Services, stressed that Vassar’s admission process is already holistic in its approach, which allows for a fuller picture of a student to emerge, well beyond what can be encapsulated in a test score. Going forward, whether a student chooses to submit test scores or not, the admission office will continue to read files in context and with nuance. Smith added, “There are inherent inequities in standardized testing that have long been recognized by educators. We believe this new policy aligns us with our core value of access.”

Bradley said she hoped this decision would provide clarity and relief to prospective students and their families as they engage in the college admissions process. More information about Vassar’s admissions policies and procedures may be found at the Office of Admission.