Yale will no longer require applicants to submit essay scores from standardized tests, starting with high schoolers applying for admission to the class of 2023.
The University announced the new policy on Friday in an email to high school counselors. In the letter, Quinlan emphasized that students who do not take the essay portion of the SAT or the ACT “will not be at a disadvantage” in the admissions process.
Since the launch of the redesigned SAT test in March 2016 and the revamped ACT writing section in September 2015, many universities across the country have reevaluated their testing requirements in an effort to make the college application process easier and less costly for students. By making the submission of essay scores optional, Yale joins a number of peer institutions that have enacted similar policies in recent years, including Harvard, Dartmouth and Columbia.
Yale’s decision leaves just 26 colleges across the country that still require applicants to submit scores from the essay sections of the SAT and ACT, according to the Princeton Review.
Quinlan wrote in the email that he hopes the new policy will eliminate a potential financial barrier to applying to Yale.
In recent years, many high schools across the country have begun allowing students to take the SAT or ACT during the school day for free — but in some states, such as Connecticut, the in-school tests do not include the essay portion. If students opt to retake the test at their own expense, the essay portion costs an additional $14, while the writing section of the ACT costs $16.50 more.
“We hope [the new policy] will enable more students who participate in school-day administrations of the SAT or ACT to apply to Yale without needing to register for an additional test,” Quinlan said in the email.
In the email, Quinlan also announced that Yale will now allow students applying from American high schools to self-report standardized test scores in their applications, rather than paying testing agencies to submit the scores. The agencies send scores for free to the first four colleges students apply to. However, each additional SAT score report costs $12 to send, and each additional ACT report costs $13.
The University will still require all applicants to submit official test scores from the testing agencies if they are admitted and choose to enroll at the University, Quinlan wrote in the email. Any discrepancies between the self-reported scores and official scores “may result in the withdrawal of an offer of admission,” he wrote.
The University hopes that allowing applicants to self-report testing scores in their applications “will remove a barrier for students for whom sending official test scores represents a financial burden,” Quinlan wrote in the email.
Yale piloted the self-reporting policy this year with students who applied to the University through QuestBridge, a national nonprofit that connects high-achieving, low-income students with colleges and other resources. The pilot had “very positive results,” Quinlan wrote.
Almost 50 colleges across the country now allow applicants to self-report test scores in their applications, including Columbia and University of Chicago, according to Inside Higher Ed.