Hartwick College Goes Test Optional

University Testing

Hartwick College, a selective liberal arts school in Oneota, NY, is the latest undergraduate institution to stop requiring applicants to submit standardized test scores. Hartwick's decision brings the national list of SAT/ACT optional four-year colleges to at least 237.


In a letter to prospective students, Hartwick Dean of Admissions Karyl B. Clemens explained, [R]equiring a test which is known to put students from international, multicultural, rural or lower-income backgrounds at a disadvantage is not in keeping with Hartwick s desire to attract students of all backgrounds.


Noting that Hartwick has always considered classroom performance, including strength of curriculum, grades and rank-in-class (when available) to be the most important indication of your academic preparation, Clemens also says that the recent redesign of the SAT (see Examiner, Winter 1992-93) and score recentering (see Examiner, Spring 1994) have generated enough additional controversy and confusion that we decided now is the time to act.


Hartwick s letter concludes with a message that more colleges are beginning to heed: The choice regarding the inclusion of your SAT and/or ACT scores in the admissions process is yours. If you think the SAT is a fair indicator of your academic potential, by all means submit your scores for consideration.


The alternative is clear students who do not think tests accurately assess their capacity to do college work should look to schools such as Hartwick that do not require the SAT or ACT.


For a list of 237 SAT/ACT optional schools, send a SASE to Optional at FairTest.