Yale Daily News

Yale announced on Thursday that it will continue to be test optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With Thursday’s announcement, Yale joined a growing group of colleges and universities — including all other Ivy League Schools — in extending test-optional policies for applicants to the class of 2026 and 2021-2022 transfer applicants. In an official announcement posted to the Yale Admissions website, Yale cited the “extraordinary circumstances” of this year as reason to extend the policy. Yale will allow students to submit SAT or ACT scores if they wish, but maintains that students who choose not to submit scores will not be disadvantaged.

“The staff at the admissions office understands that students have many priorities associated with the consequences of the pandemic; completing standardized tests should not be among them,” the announcement read.

Director of Undergraduate Admissions Margit Dahl told the News that the pandemic has continued to limit testing dates and sites. Because current high school juniors applying in next year’s admissions cycle have fewer opportunities to take standardized tests, Dahl said it did not seem reasonable to require them to submit scores.

Yale first implemented a test-optional policy for applicants to the class of 2025 last June, as SAT and ACT testing dates were cancelled or delayed in the first few months of the pandemic. Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan told the News that the test-optional policy did not create “significant disruptions” to the admissions process this year, allowing the office to be more comfortable with a one-year extension of the policy.

“Our thoughtful whole-person review process allows us to consider many factors when considering applicants, and test scores are never determinative,” Quinlan wrote in an email to the News on Friday. “We have responded to the many disruptions caused by the pandemic by remaining committed to the thoughtful, human-centered principles and practices that have guided our work for decades. That has not changed and will not change.”

Yale was the last of the Ivy League schools to announce a one-year extension to test-optional admissions policies. Quinlan told the News that the announcement came last week because he wanted to solicit input from the Faculty Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, or CAFA, University administrators and senior admissions office staff before he came to a decision. CAFA met about the issue on Feb. 8.

When asked whether Yale has considered remaining test optional after the pandemic ends, Quinlan said that the admissions office has not yet made a decision. The admissions office is working with Yale’s Office of Institutional Research to study the effects of the test-optional policy change.

“I expect the results of this study, combined with an assessment of the availability and accessibility of standardized tests will guide our decisions going forward,” Quinlan wrote in an email to the News. “There is too much uncertainty at this time to predict what our policy will be after next year.”

Yale College will release admissions decisions for the class of 2025 on April 6.

Amelia Davidson | amelia.davidson@yale.edu

Amelia Davidson was the University Editor for the Yale Daily News. Before that, she covered admissions, financial aid and alumni as a staff reporter. Originally from the Washington D.C. area, she is a junior in Pauli Murray College majoring in American studies.