Dartmouth College has announced that it will yet again require high school students in the United States to share either an SAT or ACT score as part of their application for admission. The change takes effect for students applying for Fall 2025 admission (those students who will begin their applications in Summer or Fall 2024).
“The reactivation [of the test-required policy] has been modeled on a very comprehensive research study by a group of faculty,” said Lee Coffin, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, in an interview with The Dartmouth.
“We’re getting more and more applications from all around the world, and so in order to find high achieving students, test scores turn out to be a really helpful tool,” said Bruce Sacerdote, Dartmouth Class of ’90, who was part of the research group of faculty. “Our analysis shows that we potentially miss out on some great applicants when we don’t have [test scores].”
“Social science has a concept called the ceiling effect,” Coffin said. “When you plot people in a curve, there’s a cluster at the top of the curve. That’s our applicant pool. Most of the people who apply to Dartmouth are straight A students.”
The New York Times has shared more motivations for the decision, here is the working group’s report, and Dartmouth’s full updated standardized testing expectations for first year applicants, which actually are different depending on whether an applicant goes to high school in the US or goes to high school outside of the US. To learn more about what this means going forward, get my thoughts in the video below.