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College Admissions

by Chanel Rowe
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On the bucolic campus of Bryn Mawr College, a liberal arts college of
1,400 students outside Philadelphia, competition for admission is fierce.
In 2015, Bryn Mawr decided to try a six-year experiment.
“We did that so that we would have some real data,” she said.
Bryn Mawr’s pilot program made standardized tests, like the SAT or
ACT, optional for applicants in the U.S.
After examining six years of data from the pilot program, 80% of the
college’s faculty voted to make the “test-optional” policy permanent.
“It did increase our applicant pool,” Horsey said. “We did find that in
terms of first-year retention rates – meaning the students that returned
to college after their first year – we found that there was no significant,
statistically significant, difference between test submitters and test
optional students.”
They found no real difference in four-year graduation rates, either.

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