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Hofstra Axes SATs for Undergrad Applicants

Do you agree with the decision?

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One of Long Island's best universities is joining many others in no longer requiring standardized test scores on undergraduate applications.

Incoming students applying for the Fall 2015 semester will have the option of withholding their SAT and ACT scores on their applications to the Hempstead university.

The change gives students the "ability to decide for themselves how to best present their academic strengths and abilities to the admission committee," the school said in a statement. Furthermore, it will "allows each individual student to decide whether — or not — the standardized test results accurately reflect his or her academic ability and potential."

Hofstra made the decision after consulting with admission professionals and faculty along with a study performed on national and Hostra-specific data, they said. They study showed that "the best predictor of success in college is a student’s high school academic record and the performance of day-to-day work in the classroom," not standardized test scores.

While submitting scores is not required, some applicants may still elect to submit scores with their applications. Applicants who submit scores will have them added to a "comprehensive review" of their credentials while those who withhold scores will have their entire records scrutinized as part of a "holistic" review, said the school.

International and home-schooled applicants will still have to submit their specific test scores.

Hundreds of universities do not require SATs, including dozens in New York State

What do you think of Hofstra's decision? Do you agree? Tell us in the comments!

Sue July 17, 2014 at 01:05 AM
Brad, I totally agree with you. It used to be not everyone makes the baseball team, but those days are disappearing. My daughter will be entering Hofstra starting in September. She worked her butt off in high school, scored very well on her SAT exam and was offered a nice scholarship. However, she feels that if Hofstra allows the submission of the SAT scores to be optional, it will compromise the reputation of the school. She is quite disappointed that the school did not make this announcement BEFORE she sent in her deposit. She more than likely would have accepted another school's offer.
Christopher Wendt July 17, 2014 at 09:08 AM
Look at the acceptance and enrollment numbers...Hofstra is in trouble, has been in trouble, well ahead of the decision to make SAT scores optional. This decision was a purely defensive move, to get butts into seats. Declining enrollment that has infested LI public school districts is now spreading to the local college level. Dowling may not survive because of declining enrollment. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The good news, if you want to call it that, declining local college enrollment will force a consolidation of the market, closing campuses and entire schools that cannot get butts into seats, and in the bargain, driving down the cost of a local college education. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ As far as lowering quality, yes that will be inevitable for schools that ease-off entrance qualifications. But that is not bad, because a growing number of would-be students do not really need a college education, and others do not need a top-shelf college education. Think of the difference between lawyers who will eventually go to Harvard Law and then to Washington DC or Wall Street, as compared to lawyers known as ambulance chasers, and those engaged in matrimonial and real estate practices versus all those interested in the law but not qualified to become actual lawyers and who will become paralegals. Like that.
GM Roberts July 20, 2014 at 11:55 AM
To think this action is lowering standards and/or promoting a non-competitive paradigm is missing the point that tests like the SAT or ACT are a very specific and narrow type of measurement and they can't gage the many different types of learning and manifested knowledge. A predominantly right-brained person does not usually do well with these more left-brained skewed tests, but their intelligence and skills are as valuable in the real world outside of academia. The fact that there is an entire industry devoted to tutoring students to learn HOW to take these tests should be a warning that the test results are not necessarily an indicator of acquired knowledge in its broadest meaning. These schools are not lowering entrance qualifications, they are including other forms of achievement-based criteria that don't necessarily lower quality but broaden what it means to be "educated." This seems to me to be a better reflection of reality as there are many different types of intelligence and not all can validly be tested on paper.
Christopher Wendt July 20, 2014 at 09:26 PM
@ GM Roberts: this deals with admission decisions into a college, and, specifically, with the SAT and ACT, not any other tests "like the SAT or ACT". Prospective students may continue to submit SAT and ACT scores for consideration. Likewise, this is specific to Hofstra, not "these schools", and your assertion that Hofstra is not lowering entrance requirements fails on examination of the number of students who actually matriculate at Hofstra despite a much larger number of acceptance letters having been sent out. Hofstra needs students, not just to be accepted, but to enroll, attend, and pay tuition. Lowering their standards (by making submission of SAT and ACT scores optional) would be one convenient way to attract less qualified prospects who are not just using Hofstra as their safety school, but who will actually attend Hofstra when accepted. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Failing to get student butts into seats would put Hofstra at risk, as Dowling College presently is. If Hofstra does not increase its enrollment, then the discussion of lowering standards will have become purely academic, as others discuss building a roller derby rink or ATV course, or affordable housing at the site of the former Hofstra University.


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