Dartmouth halts SAT requirement, vows to keep staff through end of July

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/3/2020 9:38:52 PM
Modified: 6/3/2020 9:40:32 PM

HANOVER — Students applying to Dartmouth College next year won’t have to take a standardized test, such as the SAT, to be considered for admission, college officials announced Wednesday.

The school also announced a commitment to maintain staffing levels through the end of July as it works to plan for the fall term. Administrators have said they will decide by June 29 whether some or all students would return for the fall term because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The one-year suspension of Dartmouth’s standardized testing requirement will apply only for undergraduates hoping to join the Class of 2025.

“At Dartmouth, we will welcome any testing element a student chooses to share — the SAT, the ACT, a subject test, an AP score — or none at all,” Lee Coffin, the college’s vice provost for enrollment & dean of admissions and financial aid, wrote in a blog post.

The decision to make standardized tests optional comes after the College Board, which administers the SAT, called on institutions to “offer flexibility in admissions this year” to reduce anxiety on students. Students face difficulty finding seats in “scarce test centers” because of social distancing, the College Board said in a Tuesday statement.

The organization said it will pause at-home SATs this year because taking it requires three hours of uninterrupted, video-quality internet for each student, “which can’t be guaranteed for all.”

During an online forum with the college community, Dartmouth Executive Vice President Rick Mills also said Wednesday that the college is in “early discussions” about creating an early retirement program for some staff.

“Nothing’s been decided, but I think it’s fair to characterize the discussions as promising,” he said during the forum. “I think there’s general interest and support for the idea.

However, Mills said, it’s still undetermined at what age the program would be offered, how many years of employment would be required and the “reward” for retiring. “It’s something we’re currently working on and I think can expect we would see,” he said.

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