Harvard reinstates mandatory SAT scores for applicants

Harvard announced Thursday it will reinstate the requirement for applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, the latest in a string of schools to return to making the scores mandatory.

The requirement will begin during next year’s admission cycle, a year earlier than expected as it was previously communicated Harvard would reinstate testing for the class of 2030.

“Standardized tests are a means for all students, regardless of their background and life experience, to provide information that is predictive of success in college and beyond,” said Hopi Hoekstra, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences.

“Indeed, when students have the option of not submitting their test scores, they may choose to withhold information that, when interpreted by the admissions committee in the context of the local norms of their school, could have potentially helped their application. In short, more information, especially such strongly predictive information, is valuable for identifying talent from across the socioeconomic range,” Hoekstra added.

The school also provided a link to no-cost tutoring and no-cost test preparation for those concerned about the price of the test.

Harvard is only the latest among numerous schools that have walked back optional testing requirements after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The moves have sparked controversy as some argue test scores disadvantage students and are not a great indicator of college success as others contend test scores are needed to help schools evaluate students.

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