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Hofstra adopts test-optional admission policy

Hofstra adopts test-optional admission policy
Hofstra adopts test-optional admission policyPhoto by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Hofstra is going test optional, the large Long Island private university stated on its website last week. “Effective for the class entering in Fall 2015, Hofstra University will no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of the application,” the announcement read. The school, located in Hempstead with a law school and medical school, also will be launching a new accelerated MBA program in Manhattan in the fall.

It will be up to undergraduate applicants to decide whether or not to submit their SAT or ACT results with their application to boost their chances for admission. Only international and home-schooled applicants are excepted from the change.

Test-optional popularity

Hofstra is joining a growing number of colleges that are adopting a test-optional policy and eliminating the admission requirement for test scores submission. “In recent years, more than 800 of 2,870 institutions nationwide that grant four-year degrees have de-emphasized the use of standardized test scores in making admissions decisions, according to FairTest, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Cambridge, Massachusetts,” Newsday reports.

Bard College, another school located in New York, substituted four essays for test scores as their Bard Entrance Exam. “Last year, 41 students completed what the college is calling the Bard Entrance Exam—and 17 scored high enough to be admitted,” according to Business Insider.

Other private four-year schools with the test-optional approach are Wesleyan University in Connecticut, Wake Forest University in North Carolina and College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts and two other Long Island schools Dowling College in Oakdale and Briarcliffe College, Newsday lists.

Hofstra’s rationale

After a review of its own and national data, input from admission staff and faculty, Hofstra will no longer use standardized tests as best predictors of success in college. Instead, the primary focus will be on the high school transcript and classroom performance. If submitted, test scores will only be considered as one part of a comprehensive review of application materials.

Student strategy

Students applying to test-optional colleges like Hofstra will have the ability to decide how best to show their academic strengths, talents and abilities. They may strategically plan to submit scores or not based on whether they believe test results reflect their potential.

The college-bound should not assume admission is easier from schools with test-optional policies. Students should continue to prepare themselves for the rigors of higher education study through curricular and extracurricular activities. Meanwhile, visit the school, enjoy the tour, and take advantage of campus opportunities.

When it is time to apply for admission, students will have more realistic expectations for being a college student and what they want from a college education. The school will have an informed applicant with a solid resume ready to achieve college success.