Harvard University has announced it will continue to wave ACT and SAT standardized testing requirements for graduating classes of students at least through 2030, to include four application cycles.
The Ivy League institution made the announcement on Thursday, adding that the decision was related to the ongoing pandemic.
“Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its continued impact on access to testing for high school age students, Harvard College will allow students to apply for admission without requiring SAT or ACT scores for the upcoming admitted classes of ’27, ’28, ’29, and ’30,” the announcement noted.
The announcement went on to say that the current admissions cycle for the class of 2026 is the second consecutive year in which the standardized tests were not part of the admission requirements to attend Harvard.
The announcement also noted that standardized testing is just one of the factors considered for admission, going on to note that non-academic accomplishments are also important.
“Consistent with Harvard’s whole-person admissions process, standardized tests are one factor among many considered. Accomplishments in and out of the classroom during the high school years — including extracurricular activities, community involvement, employment, and family responsibilities — are considered as part of the admissions process,” the blog posted announcement continued.
The school’s dean of admissions and financial aid, William R. Fitzsimmons, also noted that any student who does not submit the testing scores upon application won’t be penalized or placed at a disadvantage.
“Students who do not submit standardized test scores will not be disadvantaged in their application process,” Fitzsimmons said. “Their applications will be considered on the basis of what they have presented, and they are encouraged to send whatever materials they believe would convey their accomplishments in secondary school and their promise for the future.”
While Harvard is claiming that SATs and ACTs are being disregarded due to COVID, in fact, American colleges and universities around the country have been dropping the requirement for years in the name of “diversity.”
“They really contribute to the inequities of our system,” University of California-Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ said in November 2019 as the state university system considered dropping standardized testing altogether.
“These tests are incredibly sensitive to socioeconomic status and race and have nothing to say about the individual,” Alisa Hartz, an attorney with the group Public Counsel, which seeks to have the tests eliminated altogether, added.
But the College Board, which runs the SAT, pushed back in a statement: “The notion that the SAT is discriminatory is false.”
Other left-wing education activists, however, have gone a step farther, claiming that grading students for their work is racist.
Joe Feldman, CEO of Crescendo, wrote in 2017 that grading is prejudiced as is expecting students to do their homework.
“We often grade in ways that reward students who have privilege and punish those who don’t. Let’s return to homework,” he wrote. “For those who don’t grade homework for accuracy, we often grade for completion. We want students to attempt the homework even if answers aren’t correct.
“The problem is that homework completion is more often a reflection of a student’s income, language and family, and this grading approach places underprivileged students at a huge disadvantage,” he added.
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