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This Week in Admissions News | Week 20

JUN 02, 2021

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students planning to apply to universities, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. We’ve rounded up the latest news and given our take on what it means for future and current college students. Check back each week to see what’s new!

1. Some US states have passed legislation requiring public universities to go test-optional

Amid ongoing chatter about the future of standardized testing in university admissions, a handful of US states and state university systems will now require public universities to implement test-optional policies. In Colorado, Illinois, and Washington, all public colleges have gone test-optional permanently, while the City University of New York, the University of North Carolina, and the Montana University systems have all implemented system-wide, permanent test-optional policies.

Crimson’s Take: There’s certainly a lot of buzz in the university admissions sphere about the role of standardized tests in the application process! However, while these new policies may sound relatively widespread, they’re actually quite limited: public universities in Colorado, Illinois and Washington as well as those in the mentioned university systems only amount to a small percentage of US colleges. As far as we can tell, at the country’s most competitive universities, test scores still play an indispensable role in distinguishing the lucky few from the many thousands of applicants each year. And even at schools with test-optional admissions, great scores can make the difference between getting accepted or rejected — so we’ll take this news with a grain of salt!

2. The University of Pennsylvania announces a full vaccination policy

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Ivy League University will be requiring all faculty, staff, and postdoctoral trainees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug. 1. It previously announced that students would need the vaccination for the fall semester unless they had medical or religious exceptions.

At this stage Brown and Columbia are the only other Ivy League universities that have said they will require both students and employees to be vaccinated with others, including Princeton, having said they will require students to be vaccinated.

Crimson’s Take: This is great news for new and returning students at UPenn and other universities who are following a strict vaccination policy. It is expected that, with these measures in place, the valuable college experience will be as close to normal as it can get given the impact of the global pandemic! We are excited for all our new, freshman admits and our valued Crimson alumni who get to experience college life at the fullest after what has been a challenging year for many.

3. Princeton holds Class of 2021 commencement ceremony in outdoor stadium

The Ivy League’s Princeton University got creative late last month when they held the commencement ceremony for their outgoing Class of 2021 in their football stadium!

The Daily Princetonian reports that, woven into the more typical pieces of the ceremony like the salutatory address, presentation of undergraduate and advanced degrees, and granting of honorary degrees were numerous reflections on what the past 14 months under the pandemic have meant for the University community.

Crimson’s Take: Hat’s off to Princeton for holding an outdoor, socially distanced event that enabled the Class of 2021 to celebrate in person together! We have no doubt that the students in this class — which include Princeton alumni like the wonderful Seyoon from Australia — will go on to great things!

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