Haverford College’s Test-Optional Pilot Now Official Policy
Initially approved in spring 2020 as a three-year pilot, the policy, which allows prospective students to decide whether or not to submit their ACT or SAT scores as part of their applications, will now continue on an on-going basis.
In spring 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haverford adopted a three-year trial of a test-optional policy. The previously required SAT or ACT scores became an optional element of a student's application for the Classes of 2025, 2026, and 2027. The College has now decided to adopt that test-optional policy on an on-going basis.
“Based on our assessments of the impact of the test-optional policy on the admission process over the past two years and a view of the overall climate around standardized testing in admission, we are confident that this is the right next step for the College,” said Vice President & Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Jess Lord. “Moving to test-optional on an ongoing basis best supports our objective of bringing the most academically talented, accomplished, diverse student body possible to Haverford.”
Removing standardized testing has not hampered the Admission Office’s ability to assess student qualifications. In fact, the College’s test-optional pilot program resulted in classes that were the most academically selective and the most racially and ethnically diverse in Haverford’s history.
“Even when standardized testing has been an admission requirement at Haverford, it has played a relatively small role in our evaluation of candidates,” said Lord. “Our academic evaluation centers on the rigor of a student’s high school curriculum and their performance in that curriculum. Additionally, we put emphasis on qualitative assessments we are able to make about intellectual curiosity, academic engagement, growth, and potential from across their application.”
“A test-optional policy has a positive impact on all stages of the process,” added Lord, “influencing who applies, who is admitted, and who enrolls. Making this our formal, on-going policy strengthens our commitment to both academic excellence and access, ensuring there are fewer barriers for outstanding students to consider Haverford.”