Brown University will reintroduce standardized admissions testing

In his announcement, Brown said the test results were a clear indicator of future success.

“Our analysis found that SAT and ACT scores are among the most important indicators that help predict a student’s ability to succeed and thrive in Brown’s demanding academic environment,” the University of Providence, R.I., said in a statement.

Brown also raised concerns from both Dartmouth and Yale that suspending the testing requirements would have the unintended effect of harming potential students from low-income families.

The committee at Brown charged with reviewing the admissions policy was concerned that some students from less privileged backgrounds and lower scores had chosen not to submit scores under the test-optional policy, even if submitting them could improve their chances of admission could actually have increased. .

“Strong tests, interpreted in the context of a student’s background, can serve to demonstrate their ability to succeed at Brown,” the announcement said, “and the lack of scores may mean admissions officers are hesitant to admit them .”

Applications to highly selective colleges surged during the optional testing period. Last year, Brown said it received more than 51,000 applications for the fall 2023 class.

Not quite.

For every school that brings back standardized testing, a number of institutions are moving in the opposite direction, part of a growing test-optional movement in the United States. About 2,000 colleges and universities have said they will not require entrance exams. according to FairTestan anti-testing organization.

Proponents of test-optional policies argue that it creates a level playing field, eliminating the advantage given to high school students from affluent families who can afford test-prep courses and coaches who boost their scores.

Many colleges chose to keep optional testing policies in place even as the pandemic subsided. Colombia announced last year it would be test-optional, and Harvard has said it will be test-optional through the classroom graduate in 2030.

The University of Michigan, one of the nation’s most selective public universities, announced in February that it would become test-optional and would abandon a “test-flexible” policy that allowed the use of other tests, such as Advanced Placement.

The California university system has adopted a “test-blind” policy, meaning that scores are not looked at even when submitted.

Brown said a committee analyzing admissions practices had considered the issue of preferential treatment for estates, where children of former students get a boost, but had not yet reached a conclusion.

About 8 percent of the students in Brown’s freshman class are throwbacks.

“The issue of admissions preferences raises complex questions about equity and access, about merit and unearned advantage, about the tangible and intangible impact of affinity, loyalty and community – and about how to balance compelling but competing values,” Brown’s admissions review committee said in a statement resume.

On the one hand, the committee found that students whose parents attended Brown tend to be highly qualified, with stronger academic records. They are also more likely to accept offers of admission. And legacies create a “sense of community and loyalty among graduates.”

On the other hand, analysis suggests that admitting fewer older students could potentially result in modest increases in the number of low-income and first-generation students, as well as students from historically underrepresented groups, the commission found.

Brown said it would keep those as well early decision admissions program. Critics have said such programs help students from wealthier families.

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