Students' performance in high school tells more, says George Washington University
George Washington University in the United States recently dropped its requirement for some standardized tests in recruitment, sparking discussion among educators about the admission criteria of universities around the world.
Since August, students applying for undergraduate admission to the university are not required to submit Scholastic Assessment Test or American College Test scores, the private university located in Washington DC said in a statement on its website.
The decision was made at the suggestion of the Access Committee of the university's Task Force on Access and Success. The task force found that students' success is predicted more by their academic record in high school than by SAT or ACT scores.
"Although we have long employed a holistic application review process, we had concerns that students who could be successful at GW felt discouraged from applying if their scores were not as strong as their high school performance," Karen Stroud Felton, the university's dean of admissions, said in the statement.
"We want outstanding students from all over the world and from all different backgrounds－regardless of their standardized scores－to recognize GW as a place where they can thrive," Felton said.
Yang Donghao, consulting manager of U.S. undergraduate programs at Chivast Education International, an overseas study consultancy in Beijing, said George Washington's decision sent a strong signal to universities in the U.S. and around the world.
"On the surface, admission criteria seem to have been lowered, as an increasing number of universities in the U.S. and the world are dropping standardized test results in recruitment," he said. "Actually, they are raising the bar by paying more attention to the overall performance of the applicants by interviewing the students and looking at application documents, including their grade-point average, personal statements, recommendation letters and so forth."
This statement by George Washington said, "High school coursework and grades will continue to be the most important factors in GW's holistic review process, along with a student's writing skills, recommendations, involvement in school and community and personal qualities and character."