U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Wake Forest abandons SAT in admissions

This morning’s Washington Post contains an op-ed from Nathan O. Hatch, the president of Wake Forest University. There Hatch details the reasons for his school making the SAT optional in undergraduate admissions.   Arguing that “[a]nalyses show clearly that performance on the SAT is closely correlated with family income,” and that “the SAT was the poorest predictor of college performance when compared with high school grades and performance on subject tests,” Hatch makes a pretty good case for the claim that de-emphasizing this exam would make for a wider array of income diversity while maintaining high academic standards.

2 Thoughts on this Post

  1. This is very interesting. I wonder if the same will begin to happen in graduate school applications with the GRE, which as I understand is just as poor of a predictor of performance as the SAT.

  2. As far as I’m concerned, any application process that smacks of being “mechanical”—meaning numbers focused, prior-school reputation dependent, or strength of rec. letters dependent—is bogus. And the “Bogus-ality” of the mechanical processes reveals itself as an acute problem when graduate programs are considered. Applying for history graduate programs should require portfolios, interviews, and numerous statements (i.e. personal, professional, topical).

    I know what I’m saying is idealistic. But approaching admissions as a labor-intensive process, ~rather than~ one focused on efficiency, would radically increase the quality of higher education in general. – TL

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