University of Chicago Goes Test-Optional

While over 1000 schools in the United States are test-optional, there has been a growing trend over the last few years for more competitive colleges to adopt this policy. You can find a complete list of test-optional schools here, but some of these colleges include College of the Holy Cross, Connecticut College, DePaul University, and George Washington University.

The University of Chicago, the first elite college to join this trend, just announced Thursday that it would no longer require undergraduate applicants to submit standardized test scores. According to Jim Nondorf, vice president and dean of admisssions, “Despite the fact that we would say testing is only one piece of the application, that’s the first thing a college asks you. We wanted to really take a look at all our requirements and make sure they were fair to every group, that everybody, anybody could aspire to a place like UChicago.” For more details, see this article.

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Grit Becoming a New Factor in College Admissions

Take those failures in stride. They're just stepping stones on the path to building true grit.

At a time when seniors are worrying about their test scores and grades, it may be refreshing to know that there is a quality superior to pulling off stellar numbers, which is slowly being recognized as a much more telling sign of future success--and some larger colleges are beginning to acknowledge this too! It has even become formal policy at universities such as DePaul, Tufts and Wake Forest.

In case you haven't yet heard the new buzz word, it's called "grit." Angela Duckworth, a University of Pennsylvania assistant professor of psychology, recently described grit as, "perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity and plateaus in progress. The gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina. Whereas disappointment or boredom signals to others that it is time to change trajectory and cut losses, the gritty individual stays the course."

So, for those who continue to be frustrated by the numbers side of the application process, be sure to take advantage of your interview and essays to highlight examples of the much more important quality of grit. To read more about grit in the admissions process, click here.

 

 

 

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