By: Flora Shemtob  | 

SAT, ACT Scores Optional for YU’s General Admissions in 2021-22 Cycle, Only Required for Honors Applicants

YU is not requiring SAT or ACT test scores for general admissions applicants for the 2021-22 admissions cycle due to “evolving admissions practices” and “the continuing COVID situation” for test-takers, according to the Office of Admissions. 

Last admissions cycle, YU stopped requiring standardized test scores. According to Chief Enrollment Manager Chad Austein, this admissions policy will be reviewed on a “year-by-year basis” going forward. 

Only those applying to one of YU’s honors programs — Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein, S. Daniel Abraham and Business Entrepreneurial Leadership — are required to send in their SAT or ACT scores, which remain one of the determining factors for their potential acceptance and scholarship. There is no replacement test or penalty provided to general admissions students who choose not to send in their scores. 

Although not required, general admissions applicants may choose to send in their standardized test scores. “When we review an application we take a holistic approach to every student and every application,” Acting Director of Undergraduate Admissions Marc Zharnest told The Commentator. “Scores alone don’t guarantee admission, but they are a factor in the process.” 

The SAT and ACT were canceled when the U.S. first went on lockdown after the pandemic broke out. When the test centers opened again in August 2020 they were at limited capacity. This led to many of the tests being canceled and refunded since there was not enough space for all college applicants to take the test while maintaining social distance. In October 2020, the SAT College Board was still unsure of how to go forward. Tests at different centers were getting canceled and the students were left without any scores to add to their application. 

In June 2021, most test centers reopened. The students must wear masks, social distance and respond to any questions they receive about their health in regards to COVID-19. If someone isn’t feeling well or has been exposed to the virus, they may not take the test. The test centers had strict protocol to follow and had to post on the official website to let the students know if their test center was unable to administer their test due to COVID-19 exposures or other unforeseen variables. In reality, many test centers failed to inform most of the students if the center closed; many would show up on test day and find that their test had been canceled. 

Additionally, test centers occasionally closed without warning. The SAT has about 10 to 15 centers closed in New York as of Sept. 30, 2021. Due to these complications, it can be difficult to secure a test date. To accommodate applicants, YU is not requiring incoming students to send in their scores. The admissions center believes that the applications themselves offer enough “insight into our future students.” 

Many other universities in the New York City area have a similar approach to YU. City University of New York’s Hunter and Baruch colleges don’t look at any standardized test scores, even if the scores are submitted. New York University and Columbia University encourage standardized test scores but are not requiring them.

Photo Caption: YU students at orientation

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University