Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Stanford becomes latest elite college to reinstate SAT requirement

Stanford University has become the latest elite college to reinstate the standardized test requirement for admissions.

The university joins Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Harvard and California Institute of Technology — all top-notch colleges which have reinstated the requirement this year. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology led the way, reinstating the requirement in 2022.

At Stanford, the requirement takes effect for students applying for the fall 2025. Stanford, in its announcement, pledged to continue using a “holistic” view in its admissions decisions.

“The renewed testing requirement will allow Stanford to consider the fullest array of information in support of each student’s application,” the university stated on its website.

Research has found that a student’s future academic success in college can be measured most accurately with the presence of standardized tests scores such as the SAT and ACT as part of its admissions package, but Stanford did not cite those findings in its announcement.

Administrators also made the announcement on Friday as Stanford was embroiled in a nationwide scandal involving a group of anti-Israel students who had taken over the president’s office and held it hostage for a few hours before police busted in and arrested the activists.

It’s unknown if Stanford had planned to announce its SAT requirement decision on June 7 all along, or if it decided to unveil it amid the news of the pro-Palestinian students’ felony burglary charges.

Use of standardized test scores in admissions had been widely discontinued in 2020 in the wake of COVID shut downs — as well as accusations the exam is racist.

The University of California and California State University systems are among them, and no longer require SAT or ACT tests for their admissions applications, spokespersons for the systems told the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday:

UC “has ended use of standardized tests in freshman admissions for the foreseeable future,” Ryan King, a university spokesperson, told the Chronicle Friday, noting that the public university’s situation is different from that of elite, private universities. …

“CSU has no plans to reinstate ACT or SAT testing as part of first-year student admission at this time,” said university spokesperson Amy Bentley-Smith.

A handful of elite colleges also have not given up on their test-optional policies just yet, including Columbia and Princeton, the Washington Post reported in March, prior to Stanford’s decision.

“The patchwork of policies is wreaking havoc on applicants, parents and college admissions consultants nationwide, who are being forced to recalculate where and how they are willing to apply — or what to tell anxious teenagers about whether to test, retest or skip testing entirely — as decisions keep rolling out in real time,” the Post reported.

“…Colleges are still grappling with the fallout from the landmark Supreme Court ruling that ended the use of race-based affirmative action in admissions. Many are undertaking an array of experiments in response to the decision in a bid to maintain diverse admitted classes — ending legacy preferences in some cases, adding essay prompts on adversity or identity in others, or increasing outreach in low-income areas.”

MORE: Ivy League changes mind, SATs no longer racist

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.