Now that Dartmouth and Yale have led the way, isn’t it time for Princeton to abandon the “test-optional” policy for undergraduate admission? That policy arguably made sense when adopted in the darkest quarantine days of the coronavirus crisis. But it now just seems to be hanging on as a well-intentioned but misguided attempt to democratize admission policies. 

Yale’s research concluded that “when admissions officers reviewed applications with no scores, they placed greater weight on other parts of the application. But this shift frequently worked to the disadvantage of applicants from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.” (Emphasis in original.)

Consistent with other research, Yale also concluded that “among all application components, test scores are the single greatest predictor of a student’s future Yale grades. This is true even after controlling for family income and other demographic variables ...”

I was proud when Princeton in 2001 became the first university in the country to eliminate loans from its student aid packages. That enlightened decision facilitated the matriculation of more low- and moderate-income students. But the “test-optional” policy seems to actually work against this laudable goal. I hope Princeton will soon join the salutary countertrend started by Dartmouth and Yale. 

Greg Schwed ’73
New York, N.Y.