Beginning with the 2014-15 application cycle, undergraduate applicants to Bryn Mawr College will have the option of submitting standardized test scores. In the past, scores from tests such as the SAT or ACT were required for consideration.
“We have always conducted a holistic review of a student’s application and that will continue,” says Bryn Mawr Director of Admissions Peaches Valdes '99. “This new policy will make our pool of applicants even stronger as a wider range of academically talented students will be able to consider Bryn Mawr.”
The decision to go test optional was made after careful review of the current policy by senior admissions staff, the Faculty Admissions Committee, and the Office of Institutional Research.
“This was a very deliberative process,” says Psychology Professor Marc Schulz, a member of the admissions committee. “We looked not just at the national data but also took a very hard look at our own data over the last several years. It was clear that the standardized tests added very little predictive information after accounting for the strength of applicants’ academic work in high school and the admissions staff’s review of the whole application.”
Other top liberal arts colleges to adopt a test-optional policy include Bates, Bowdoin, Hamilton, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Wesleyan.
Bryn Mawr has had a “test flexible” policy since 2009. Under that policy, students had a variety of options regarding what combination of standardized test scores they chose to submit.
Under the new policy, students will still have the option of submitting test scores.
“Our goal is to get the most accurate sense as to whether a student will thrive here at Bryn Mawr. We encourage applicants to send us the information that will best inform that decision,” says Valdes.
Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents will still be required to submit standardized test results (SAT or ACT), and some, depending on language of instruction, may also be required to submit English proficiency test results.
For more information, visit the Admissions section of the College’s website.