Wake Forest University

SAT optional policy and applicant diversity

Rethinking Admissions

Continuing the Conversation

SAT optional policy and applicant diversity

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The number of college applications increase when an SAT optional-policy is adopted. Application rates from black, Hispanic students and lower income students also increase. The result is a more racially and socioeconomically diverse pool of admitted students in elite colleges and universities. Whether the pool is academically stronger could depend on which kind of SAT optional policy is adopted — the option where students who would otherwise be performing below the mean on an SAT will have the same chance as those who performed well or where no SAT scores are considered at all. These statistics were presented by Thomas Espenshade, a professor of sociology at Princeton on his talk on the diversity implications of the SAT-optional admission policies among selective institutions.

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