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25 MAR 2021
1. More US Universities are changing their standardized test policies for the 2021-22 application cycle — and beyond
The list of universities that have announced extensions of their test-optional policies due to COVID-19 restrictions continues to grow as admissions decisions for the previous application cycle begin rolling in. Interestingly, while some universities announced these extensions nearly two months ago, those who have taken longer to do so are also making longer-lasting changes: the University of Illinois, the largest university in the state, plans to go test-optional for “at least two more years” while Worcester Polytechnic Institute is going test-blind from this year on. This trend has sparked conversations in the higher education sphere about the future of standardized tests altogether.
Crimson’s Take: There’s no denying that the pandemic has had lasting effects on the college admissions landscape, some of which may bring permanent changes to the way students apply for higher education. However, between comments from the CEO of ACT about the importance of test data in admissions decisions, alongside statements from many of the most prestigious US unis expressing that they do not plan to adopt permanent test-optional policies, we don’t see the SAT or ACT being eliminated from the application process anytime soon!
2. Ivy League student-athletes are persevering through pandemic-imposed difficulties to nurture their talents
The Ivy League’s decision to cancel spring sports for 2021 brought widespread disappointment from student-athletes — especially those who had to miss their final collegiate season as a result. However, many teams have reportedly found ways to stay connected and keep in shape for the return of their respective sports thanks to video calls and remote workouts. And for some recent Ivy League alums who are now playing at other universities, the competition is still on: four Ivy graduate transfers are competing in the 2021 installment of the NCAA championship tournament!
Crimson’s Take: We know news of the Ivy League’s spring sports cancellation was difficult to hear for many student-athletes — so we’re thrilled to know that many have found ways to work around the limitations of the pandemic to do what they love most! Of course, virtual and socially-distanced workouts aren’t quite the same as full practices with their coaches and teammates, but we admire these students’ perseverance and optimistic outlook.
3. Columbia University will honor the diversity of the Class of 2021 with six ‘Multicultural Graduation Celebrations’
In addition to its traditional school- and university-wide graduation ceremonies to be held this spring for the Class of 2021, Columbia has announced it will also host ‘Multicultural Graduation Celebrations’ to provide “a more intimate setting for students who self-identify in a variety of ways” which will “invite community members to reflect on personal growth and community experiences that have impacted their time as students.” The celebrations include individual virtual events for Native American students, Asian students, Latinx students, Black students, students in the LGBTQ+ community, and first-generation and low-income (FLI) students.
Crimson’s Take: We love to hear about universities’ efforts to celebrate diversity on their campuses, as we know that the rich diversity of their student bodies contributes immeasurable value to their campuses. For Crimson, a global company aiming to help students around the world overcome obstacles of location and legacy to gain admission to their dream universities, acknowledgements of the importance of diversity by top institutions are always uplifting indicators that the world of higher education is moving in the right direction!