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Vassar Extends Test-Optional Policy for Two More Years

Vassar College has extended its policy waiving its admission requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT test scores, President Elizabeth Bradley announced. The pilot policy went into effect for the 2020-21 admission cycle and will continue for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 cycles.

Vassar will waive its requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores for the next two admissions cycles.Photo: Tamar Thibodeau

The Office of Admission’s original decision to go test-optional was made last year in consultation with the College Committee on Admission and Financial Aid (CAFA) and the Board of Trustees. At that time, Bradley noted the College would continue to evaluate the pilot and determine whether to make it an ongoing policy.

Although the College had been considering a test-optional policy long before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in announcing the decision last year, Bradley said the pandemic created significant disruptions for students. With some tests having been canceled and some families facing other extraordinary circumstances, taking these tests have become an undue burden. The state of the public health, along with those concerns remain as issues, even more now than last year, Bradley noted.

In announcing the policy last year, 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. “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,” Smith noted.

Bradley said she hoped the decision to continue to waive the test-score requirement 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 online at Vassar’s Office of Admission.