How Will Top Colleges Use the Redesigned SAT?
Note: This article was published in February of 2015. Colleges and universities may have changed their positions regarding super scoring the old and redesigned SATs as well as their positions regarding essay scores. Please refer to the College Board’s list of colleges and universities’ decisions regarding the SAT essay or consult the admissions office directly for more up-to-date information.
Did you hear the latest? XYZ University won’t be accepting the current SAT for the class of 2017 (current sophomores). It’s making that class take the redesigned SAT! I’m having my child switch to the ACT, so we have more college options. What are you going to do?
Let’s hit the brakes for a moment.
Rumors are swirling as to how colleges and universities will respond to the College Board’s upcoming redesigned SAT. Will colleges accept both the current SAT tests (the October, November, December, and January sittings) and the redesigned SAT (March and beyond) for the sophomore class? Up until now, we have been encouraging sophomores either to start prepping earlier for the current SAT, maybe reserving one final test sitting for the redesigned SAT in March, or to switch to the ACT. Will colleges and universities force us to change our approach?
At the moment, every college or university that has made a decision about the current and redesigned SATs will accept both tests for the class of 2017. A few Ivy League schools and others are still deciding on their admissions decision, but it would appear, at the moment, that they have little to gain by requiring the class of 2017 to submit only the redesigned SAT.
Below is a list of some of the top liberal arts colleges and universities with their decisions as to whether they will accept the current (“old”) SAT for the class of 2017, whether or not they will require the “optional” essay, and whether or not they will “super score” across both versions of the SAT (Note: when a college “super scores” the SAT, it takes the highest section of Reading, Math, and Writing from multiple test sittings and combines them for a composite “super score”). If they are listed as “yes” or “no,” that means that an admissions officer confirmed the school’s decision. A note of “likely” or “not likely” indicates that they are leaning toward an affirmative or negative position, and “undecided” means that the college has not yet decided. As we gather more data about these and other colleges, we will keep you updated.
|School||Will accept old SAT for class of 2017?||Will the writing section be required?||Will you super score both tests?|
|Amherst College Amherst, MA||Yes||Undecided||Undecided|
|Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA||Yes||No||Yes|
|Bowdoin College Brunswick, ME||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Brown University Providence, RI||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Carleton College Northfield, MN||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA||Preference for junior or senior year tests||Yes||Not likely|
|Colgate University Hamilton, NY||Likely||Not likely||Not likely|
|College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA||Likely||No||Undecided|
|Cornell University Ithaca, NY||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Dartmouth College Hanover, NH||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Florida State University Tallahassee, FL||Likely||Undecided||Undecided|
|George Washington University Washington, DC||Yes||Undecided||Undecided|
|Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA||Yes||Not likely||Not likely|
|Hamilton College Clinton, NY||Yes||Undecided||Likely|
|Harvard University Cambridge, MA||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Harvey Mudd College Claremont, CA||Yes||No||Yes|
|Haverford College Haverford, PA||Yes||Yes||Undecided|
|Kenyon College Gambier, OH||Likely||Not likely||Undecided|
|Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA||Likely||No||Undecided|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Middlebury College Middlebury, VT||Likely||Likely||Undecided|
|New York University New York, NY||Yes||Yes||No|
|Northwestern University Evanston, IL||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Ohio State University—Columbus Columbus, OH||Yes||Yes||Not likely|
|Pennsylvania State University—University Park University Park, PA||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Pomona College Claremont, CA||Yes||Yes||No|
|Princeton University Princeton, NJ||Yes||Yes||Undecided|
|Rice University Houston, TX||Yes||Yes||Likely|
|Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—New Brunswick Piscataway, NJ||Yes||Likely||Undecided|
|Stanford University Stanford, CA||Yes||Undecided||Likely|
|Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA||Yes||Undecided||Undecided|
|University of California—Berkeley Berkeley, CA||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|University of Florida Gainesville, FL||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN||Yes||Likely||Not likely|
|University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA||Likely||Likely||Unlikely|
|University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA||Undecided||Undecided||Yes|
|Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY||Likely||Likely||Likely|
|Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA||Likely||Not likely||Likely|
|Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA||Likely||Likely||Likely|
|Wellesley College Wellesley, MA||Yes||Undecided||Undecided|
|Wesleyan University Middletown, CT||Yes||No (test optional)||Likely|
|Williams College Williamstown, MA||Undecided||Undecided||Undecided|
|Yale University New Haven, CT||Yes||Undecided||Not likely|
Although no college has stated that it will not accept the current SAT for the class of 2017, many are taking different approaches to the new test. For example, Wesleyan University, a test optional school that does not currently require the ACT writing portion, will not require the optional redesigned SAT essay. Boston College will super score across the two versions of the SAT, but Auburn University will limit its super scoring either to the old or the new version. Finally, Carnegie Mellon prefers that students take the old SAT during his/her junior year. They will still take a sophomore sitting, but would prefer that their applicants submit junior/senior scores. By contrast, UPenn will accept the current SAT as long as the test was taken within 5 years of the student’s application.
Later on this spring, more colleges and universities will provide more specific information as to their testing requirements. Until then, if you have specific questions about a college/university of interest, the best thing you can do is to call the admissions office and speak directly with an officer. For the time being, most colleges seem to be choosing the path that is most consistent with their current test policy.
Correction 2/18/2015: Swarthmore College was previously listed as a “yes” for requiring the writing section and super scoring the tests. They are currently undecided.
Correction 2/23/2015: Carnegie Mellon University will accept current SAT scores for tests taken during a student’s sophomore year, but its preference is that students submit scores from junior or senior year. The article previously stated that Carnegie Mellon would not accept sophomore year scores.
Correction: 4/1/2015: Penn State University was listed as “yes” for accepting the current SAT for the class of 2017, “yes” for requiring the writing portion, and “no” for superscoring across the two tests. It is undecided in its decision about the redesigned SAT.