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25 NOV 2021
1. The University of California announces the end of standard admissions tests
Following more than three years of debate and research, the University of California (UC) has decided to discontinue the use of standardized admissions tests such as the SAT and ACT. “UC will continue to practice test-free admissions now and into the future,” UC Provost Michael Brown declared at a Board of Regent meeting during a discussion about alternative options to the SAT and ACT. Stanford also announced it will continue to be test-optional for yet another year, citing the ongoing challenges related to the pandemic and limited access to admission testing worldwide. Considering that the world is still tackling the effects of the pandemic and restrictions and limitations remain, this is likely just the beginning of a wave of similar announcements.
Crimson’s Take: There is much speculation about the longevity of standardized testing in college admissions since many institutions have waived the test requirement for yet another year. The UC system’s decision to go test-blind reinforces our knowledge that in order to succeed, students must demonstrate their scholastic ability beyond test scores alone (usually by way of AP and IB coursework), and their essays and extracurriculars must truly stand out to get them recognized in the holistic review process US universities use.
2. Yale University receives the second-largest pool of early applicants in its history
Yale received 7,313 early action applications this fall, from students aspiring to become members of the class of 2026 — this marks the second-largest application pool in Yale’s history. Although international student enrollment in the United States saw an overall dip due to the pandemic, Yale's international applications have steadily increased. Mark Dunn, director of outreach and communications at the admissions office, reported that first-generation college students, international students, and underrepresented racial or ethnic groups rose both in 2020 and 2021. Early action applicants will find out their application status in December.
Crimson’s Take: With the Ivy League representing some of the most prestigious schools in the world, it's no wonder that their applicant pools are becoming more and more competitive over time! At Crimson, we’re proud to have helped many students gain admission to these highly sought-after institutions as we know just how valuable an education from the Ivy League can be. US universities are gradually recovering from the effects of the pandemic, so this is likely to be the first of many similar announcements.
3. Rankings of best colleges in the Western U.S. for diversity
According to a report released this week, La Sierra University ranked highest in the country for diversity of its student and faculty in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Times Higher Education College (THE) Rankings. Other Western U.S. universities that follow include the University of California, Irvine; California State University, Northridge; and San Francisco State University, all tied in third place for diversity. In terms of overall university ranking in Western U.S., schools such as the University of California, Davis ranked 40, and the University of California, San Diego ranked 43, both scored high in diversity.
Crimson’s Take: University rankings provide valuable information about the academics, tuition fees, graduate prospects, and more of top schools, which help prospective students (and their families) make informed decisions about where to apply. Campus environments can also play a critical role, as a rich student and faculty diversity contributes immeasurable value to the campus. Although these rankings can be useful, they don't cover all you need to know to find your best-fit school; which is why at Crimson we specialize in helping our students build their perfect school list. While rankings are an excellent place to start, they are not everything!