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George Washington U. is Now Test-Optional

Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
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.
28 replies
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Replies to: George Washington U. is Now Test-Optional

  • NeoDymiumNeoDymium 2301 replies3 threads 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.
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  • arc918arc918 708 replies30 threads 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.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3160 replies1118 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @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.
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  • Qwerty568Qwerty568 1203 replies9 threads 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.
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  • VctoryVctory 1151 replies39 threads 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?)
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  • premature_graypremature_gray 272 replies0 threads 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.
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  • zobrowardzobroward 3741 replies193 threads Senior Member
    this will not last, they are have an agenda. they will cheapen the "brand" and it will end.
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  • shawnspencershawnspencer 3098 replies12 threads Senior Member
    I am curious to as why there is an exception for recruited NCAA athletes
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  • CValleCValle 788 replies69 threads 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.
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  • RHSclassof16RHSclassof16 809 replies113 threads 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?
    edited July 2015
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  • NickFlynnNickFlynn 826 replies15 threads Member
    @shawnspencer NCCA rules.
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  • jackrabbit14jackrabbit14 505 replies29 threads Member
    @shawnspencer I think the NCAA clearinghouse requires that college athletes meet certain minimum scores in order to be eligible to play.
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  • EarlVanDornEarlVanDorn 1200 replies87 threads Senior Member
    @jackrabbit14 said
    I think the NCAA clearinghouse requires that college athletes meet certain minimum scores in order to be eligible to play.
    Indeed the NCAA has very "rigorous" ACT requirements. Athletes with a high school core course g.p.a. of 3.55 must earn at least a 9 on the ACT, or random guess. At a lot of crap high schools any turnip can make a 3.55. There have been numerous cases in urban districts where students with stellar grade-points have been unable to pass a simple functional literacy test. They are pleasant and pliant and earn good grades despite being dumb as rocks.

    I hope this will be a disaster for GWU. Students tend to actually learn things when preparing for the ACT or SAT, particularly in the math section. All they are doing is lowering the quality of higher education in an effort to attract more really dumb students.
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  • ClarinetDad16ClarinetDad16 3303 replies119 threads Senior Member
    GW is trying to game the ranking system.
    - Increase the number of applicants (lowers acceptance rate)
    - increase yield (students not reporting tests have fewer options)
    - increase reported test scores (only students with high test scores submit)
    - And as a bonus get more full pays (test optional parents school shop so they can brag - kid isn't getting into elite, state flagship, this is their new strategy. They are typically rich)
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  • jym626jym626 56956 replies2988 threads Senior Member
    There are plenty of options for a student who wants to go test optional or "test flexible" There are about 800 schools, with almost 200 considered very good schools. My ipad is misbehaving and wont let me copy/paste the link , but check www.fairtest.org/university/optional. Maybe a student has "fewer" options, but they still have plenty of options.

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  • giterdonegiterdone 1398 replies12 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2015
    This will help less priveledged students that have not been groomed to excel on the SAT


    They won't offer much or any FA to kids who don't report test scores.
    edited August 2015
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