Yale extends test-optional policy for 2023-24 admissions cycle
After adopting one-year test-optional models for the past three application cycles, Yale’s undergraduate admissions office plans to announce its long-term testing policy next winter.
urbhi Bharadwaj, Senior Photographer
Yale has extended its test-optional policy for one additional year, a policy which will apply to applicants seeking admission to the class of 2028.
The University intends to make a long-term decision on whether it will return to its pre-pandemic policy of requiring applicants to submit their standardized test scores next winter. The undergraduate admissions office told the News earlier this year that it would announce its new testing policy during the winter of 2023, so the temporary extension of the test-optional policy pushes their target timeframe back a year.
“All applicants for undergraduate admission for fall 2024 enrollment may apply with or without ACT or SAT scores,” the admissions website now reads. “The admissions office plans to announce a long-term policy on standardized testing in winter 2024. The decision will be informed by the data and insights generated from the most recent admissions cycles.”
The University announced its decision about the upcoming admissions cycle on March 8, according to Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan. The admissions office hopes to use the additional data gathered next cycle to help inform a long-term approach to mandatory test score submission.
The Supreme Court is also expected to rule on the future of affirmative action this spring, which may play a role in the University’s long-term approach to testing.
Prior to extending the test-optional model, Quinlan held a “series of meetings” with University decision-makers, including the Office of Institutional Research, the faculty committee on admissions and financial aid and other University leaders.
“In these meetings, we discussed the merits of several proposals for long-term testing policies and gathered some very valuable insights that will shape our decision-making going forward,” Quinlan told the News.
This will be the fourth consecutive admissions cycle in which Yale employs a test-optional admissions model. The University first implemented this change during the COVID-19 pandemic, for students seeking admission to the class of 2025, and has since repeatedly renewed it for a year at a time in each subsequent cycle.
The University extended this approach through the 2022-2023 cycle last February. At the time, Quinlan told the News that the admissions office aimed to use data gathered from three test-optional admissions cycles to make a long-term policy choice by the winter of 2023. Last month, they then delayed this timeline to this spring.
“I know this is not what we had discussed when you wrote about the topic back in January,” Director of Outreach and Recruitment Mark Dunn wrote in an email to the News. “We don’t have much new to say beyond the fact that we felt that the value of gathering an additional year’s worth of data outweighed the value of finalizing a long-term policy … We hope that we can finalize a long-term policy by winter 2024, and recognize that many younger students and college counselors are eager for Yale to arrive on something that extends for more than a year at a time.”
In April of 2021, the News reported that test-optional policies are one factor that has led to the record-setting spike in applicants to the classes of 2025, 2026 and 2027. The admissions office does not draw conclusive causal relationships between specific policy changes and applicant pool demographics. However, over the last three cycles, the test-optional approach has been linked to a general increase in international applicants — who often face greater barriers to testing — and to greater racial diversity in the overall pool.
“Because of this experience [of the past three years], we feel confident in saying that we can operate the admissions process with a test-optional policy,” Quinlan told the News when the office delayed its projected decision date to winter 2023. “The question we are now grappling with is whether we should.”
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions is located at 38 Hillhouse Ave.