Drew University announced Sept. 18 that it would no longer require applicants to submit SAT scores in order to be considered for admission to the university.
The Madison, N.J., college may be the first school in the state to make this change, according to a recent Newsday article.
In recent years, colleges have been criticized for placing too much emphasis on the standardized test and not looking closely enough at prospective students’ other traits.
Dan Bertonazzi, freshman elementary education and psychology major, agrees with the criticism, saying colleges should not base their admissions too heavily on the SAT.
“It shouldn’t be the end all, be all,” he said.
Why would a college consider making such a change? Lisa Angeloni, dean of Admissions at the College, offered some insight.
“I think they dropped (the SAT) because they want to expand their applicant pool,” she said. “They want more people to be interested in their school.”
Angeloni said that increasing the number of applications a college receives has a few purposes.
First, it allows the college to brag that its admissions have gone up.
It also increases the diversity of the applicant pool, which allows the college to be more selective in the students it actually admits.
The outcome is that the college itself becomes more diverse.
Erin Hough, sophomore fine arts major, likes the idea. “It’s a progressive idea,” she said.
“The SAT is good to look at, but (colleges) should pay more attention to someone’s classes and grades in high school.”
Drew may be the first college in New Jersey to drop the test, but there are colleges in other states that do not require it.
Angeloni said that small liberal arts colleges in certain geographic areas make the SAT optional because they have a hard time attracting students.
The question remains whether other colleges will follow suit and start a trend toward dropping the SAT.
However, don’t expect the College to be doing so anytime soon.
“Right now, I don’t see it happening within the next few years,” Angeloni said.
“We’re fortunate that we get a big applicant pool. There are a lot of students at (the College) that have very, very strong SAT scores, but there are students who have average SAT scores, and it’s because they brought something unique to the campus that they were admitted.”
Angeloni said that the main question she asks herself when reviewing a student’s application is whether or not the student will be successful at the College.
Doug Neder, freshman political science major, offered another opinion.
He said that Drew University does not necessarily need the SAT because it knows that there are other criteria to base its decisions on, which may be more important than the SAT itself.
“Drew University is leading the way,” he said.