New York U. Plans to Make ACT and SAT Scores Optional for Applicants

April 20, 2009

Starting next year, New York University will no longer require applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores, the university announced today. NYU is not going “test-optional,” however. The university will continue to require all applicants to send scores from standardized exams, but the students will have more options.

Currently, applicants to NYU must submit either ACT scores or scores from the SAT and two SAT subject tests. As of next fall, applicants may choose instead to send scores from the SAT and two Advanced Placement examinations; or scores from three SAT subject tests, excluding language tests; or scores from three AP exams, also excluding language tests.

Students who can demonstrate “an extraordinary accomplishment,” such as publishing a book or winning a national competition, may submit only scores from the SAT, or two subject tests, or two AP exams.

According to the announcement, NYU has received fewer and fewer applications from students with lower SAT scores in recent years (admitted applicants average just below 1400). “We believe that the current level of our SAT scores … may be discouraging applicants with lower scores from applying; this may include students who might have some remarkable talents that we would welcome, but whose SAT score is not necessarily indicative of their ability to be successful at NYU.” —Eric Hoover