A Change in Harvard’s Admission Process
May 29, 2014
Harvard’s newspaper, The Crimson, just announced that the SAT II is no longer required for admission to the prestigious university. Last week, Harvard’s Admissions and Financial Aid Office stated that they are making the change as part of a continuing effort to draw more low-income applicants. While taking these tests (and getting a perfect or nearly perfect score, I might add) is normally required, the change will allow students to save some money and apply without them.
For years, the SAT subject tests have provided colleges with further scoring and therefore academic and intellectual information on applicants. Though it seems obvious that the world’s stamp of academic achievement, Harvard, would want as much data as possible, they are changing the game as part of an ongoing campaign to attract applicants from a wider range of socioeconomic backgrounds.
According to the Harvard Admissions Office, the college does not want to discourage low-income students from applying. By making the SAT IIs optional, Harvard is reducing the cost, albeit by a small amount, of applying to college. Will this small change to the admissions process attract applicants from a broader spectrum of life itself? No. However, it is an acknowledgement that not everybody can afford to apply to Harvard. If it is, like the Admissions Office is saying, a link in a chain reaction, then maybe the Harvard dream can be affordable for more gifted students from all income levels.
As a Yale graduate, I never thought I would say this…but…