Harvard Drops SAT Essay as Requirement

Posted by: Bostonian

Harvard Drops SAT Essay as Requirement - 03/19/18 08:40 AM

At schools where the SAT essay is no longer required, will a high score on the essay provide any boost? Should someone who is good at writing timed essays still take the essay part?

Harvard Drops SAT Essay as Requirement: Many other colleges have already dropped the requirement.
By Scott Jaschik
Inside Higher Education
March 19, 2018

Harvard University has announced that it will no longer require applicants to submit the essay portion of either the SAT or the ACT, even though they will still be required to submit scores for the other parts of the tests.

A statement Harvard released Sunday night noted that applicants will still submit essays, and that writing is an important part of the admissions process -- just not the essays of the standardized testing providers.

The university's statement says, "Harvard will accept the ACT/SAT with or without writing, starting with the Class of 2023, entering in August 2019. This change will add an additional component to the comprehensive outreach of the Harvard Financial Aid Initiative, which seeks outstanding students from all economic backgrounds. Students will continue to submit an essay through the Common, Coalition, or Universal applications -- and most students will also choose to submit an additional essay through the Harvard Application Writing Supplement. As noted on our application, students with unusual academic talent of all kinds -- including all forms of written expression -- are encouraged to submit portfolios of their work for Faculty consideration.

Harvard has not been the only institution requiring the SAT essay or equivalent from the ACT. Princeton University, for example, does so.

But many other colleges with highly competitive admissions -- where the SAT or the ACT remain required and where most applicants submit SAT scores -- have already dropped the essay requirement. Among these institutions are Columbia and Cornell Universities, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania.
Posted by: Quantum2003

Re: Harvard Drops SAT Essay as Requirement - 04/05/18 06:11 PM

That makes sense to me, especially with the proliferation of AP tests. Applicants to elite colleges likely have many 5's or at least 4's on multiple AP tests, which would support decent writing with time constraints.