Seven years after Drew made the SAT optional for high school seniors applying for admission, the university has reinstated the standardized exam as a requirement in the application process.
During this past academic year, an eight-person task force studied the impact of the SAT-optional policy. Outgoing CLA dean Jonathan Levin says task force members expressed strong beliefs on both sides of the debate.
“I think where the committee came together was the sense that we felt the SAT could be a valuable component of the review process,” he says, referring to identifying strong candidates, particularly in the sciences. “But we wanted to maintain the flexibility and opportunity to identify students who are coming with different kinds of strengths.”
The task force also considered that roughly 80 percent of high school seniors who applied to Drew since 2006, the year the SAT-optional policy took effect, included their SAT scores, even though they were not mandatory.
The group recommended retiring the policy, which Drew President Vivian Bull signed off on this spring. The first class to enroll under the new requirement will start in fall 2014. Students who feel their test scores don’t reflect their abilities will still be able to submit supplemental material for consideration, such as a graded paper or a portfolio.
“One thing that won’t be changing is our commitment to look at each student as an individual,” says Bull, “and evaluate them based on their entire record of achievement.” —Christopher Hann