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George Washington U. is Now Test-Optional

Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 4,107 Senior Member
Starting August 1, applicants to GW (both first-year and transfer) will no longer have to submit test scores. This is big news coming from such a popular university. See: http://undergraduate.admissions.gwu.edu/test-optional-policy

Note, however, that there are a few exceptions:

-Applicants to the Accelerated seven-year BA/MD program.

- Students who are homeschooled.

-Applicants applying from secondary schools that provide only narrative evaluations rather than some form of grading scale.

- Recruited NCAA Division I athletes.

Note also that "test-optional" isn't always the Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card that some students and parents think that it is. At very selective schools like GW, applicants who are decent but who don't stand out in the crowd and who take the test-optional route may lose out to "competitor" candidates who appear similar but have submitted strong test results.

Even so, for solid students with lousy tests, this news can make GW a contender now.

Replies to: George Washington U. is Now Test-Optional

  • NeoDymiumNeoDymium Registered User Posts: 2,304 Senior Member
    I don't really see good students choosing to apply without tests. While SAT/ACT/etc have obvious faults, they do serve as a good tool for measuring minimum competency, i.e. who is capable of reading, writing, and mathematics on a HS graduate level. They only start to become harmful when you try to use them to determine who is the best, because at some point these tests start to measure who was taught to the test (e.g. those who had the money for tutors), and when you use them to create school averages for overinflated competitiveness.
  • arc918arc918 Registered User Posts: 736 Member
    Can you get merit aid without submitting test scores? Some (many?) test optional schools require SAT/ACT score to be considered for merit aid.
  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert Posts: 4,107 Senior Member
    @arc918-That's a good question and, if you follow the link above and read the FAQ's you'll see this:

    If I do not submit test scores, can I still be considered for a merit scholarship?

    Yes. All students who apply to GW are eligible for scholarship consideration and will be reviewed for a merit scholarship during the evaluation process.

    So the short answer to your query is YES; you CAN get merit aid at GW if you apply without tests.

    But the longer one is this:

    Colleges use merit money to entice their top candidates to enroll. To each college, "top" can mean different things (e.g., superior academic achievement, racial or geographic diversity, special talents in athletics or arts, legacy or VIP connections). But, often, "top" means "Test scores that will boost our median."

    So applying via the test-optional route MIGHT hurt a candidate seeking merit aid. But, on the other hand, when the test scores are on the low side, sending them in won't help in the merit-aid department anyway.
  • Qwerty568Qwerty568 Registered User Posts: 1,212 Senior Member
    I think GWs been having problems "recruiting" students lately because of their terrible aid- I would guess they're feeling like AU, which is nearby, test optional, and getting very popular, is "taking away" their potential students. If you can't beat em, join em.
  • VctoryVctory Registered User Posts: 1,190 Senior Member
    Read this somewhere else:
    Being the second most expensive undergrad in the country after NYU, an admissions scandal where they were fudging GPAs and test scores for years to make themselves look for prestigious, perpetually being in the shadow of Georgetown 10 blocks away, and generally being an overrated school are things that will lead to a decline in applications. This is just another move by G-Dub to make themselves look better than they are by keeping applications up and acceptance rates low.
    (Also, did that admissions scandal actually happen? Anywhere I can read more about it?)
  • premature_graypremature_gray Registered User Posts: 272 Junior Member
    Misreported SAT scores - I think many colleges do it, usually by excluding certain subsets of students, and sometimes in a blatantly fraudulent manner. It's just a matter of being caught. Two schools in recent memory are Claremont McKenna, which "misreported," or should I say inflated, their SAT scores from 2006 - 2012. Bucknell also inflated its scores for several years. I seem to remember something about Emory, too. Sad statement about the effect of the rankings "arms race" these schools are engaged in.
  • zobrowardzobroward Registered User Posts: 3,933 Senior Member
    this will not last, they are have an agenda. they will cheapen the "brand" and it will end.
  • shawnspencershawnspencer Registered User Posts: 3,110 Senior Member
    I am curious to as why there is an exception for recruited NCAA athletes
  • CValleCValle Registered User Posts: 857 Member
    I went to GW. Had great financial aid (as did all my friends). Was in a freshman year honor's program which was amazing. Had a great education. Loved my time in DC which is part and parcel of being a GW student. Even way back then there was a large contingent of full pay, just ok stats students from NY and NJ. But that did not diminish my experience there at all. Excellent choice for a kid who is big into international relations, politics, etc.
  • RHSclassof16RHSclassof16 Registered User Posts: 922 Member
    edited July 2015
    Do you think that this could be the first of several top schools going the test optional route in the next decade or so?
  • NickFlynnNickFlynn Registered User Posts: 841 Member
  • jackrabbit14jackrabbit14 Registered User Posts: 534 Member
    @shawnspencer I think the NCAA clearinghouse requires that college athletes meet certain minimum scores in order to be eligible to play.
This discussion has been closed.