Yale University Decides It Needs Better Students Again

Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from National Review’s article titled “Yale University Decides It Needs Better Students Again,” published on February 22, 2024. To delve deeper into the article, please click here.

Earlier this month, Dartmouth College announced it was reinstating its SAT/ACT requirement for all applicants to the class of 2029, after a four-year experimental suspension that began in June of 2020. What was sold as a temporary measure required by the realities of Covid-19 lockdowns was also, sub rosa, an experiment in social justice — the idea being that once admissions officers’ eyes weren’t deceived by a glittering array of perfect 1600 SAT scores, they could focus on the “holistic applicant” instead. This is, of course, code for “admit more of a certain kind of minority.” Black and Hispanic high schoolers underperform on standardized tests relative to other American youth cohorts right now, and rather than deal with ideologically inconvenient — albeit overwhelmingly predictive — measurements of success in college, the hope was that by “getting past the numbers” a truly untapped reservoir of talented youth could be given a leg up.

The aftermath of that calculation didn’t add up for Dartmouth — either because the new crops of kiddies turned out to be either too stupid or (and this would be far funnier) too white and privileged. Now Yale University, who joined them in that same social experiment back in 2020, has agreed as well: This morning, Yale announced that it is reinstating mandatory test-score requirements for all applicants to their undergraduate program. (I wonder how Columbia now feels about being the last Ivy League university to jump on this bandwagon, right before all the other universities that enticed it to join them are hopping off themselves.)

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2 thoughts on “Yale University Decides It Needs Better Students Again

  1. ” Black and Hispanic high schoolers underperform on standardized tests relative to other American youth cohorts right now”

    But are the tests normed by race?

    1. I probably should have explained what I meant — remember bell curves and standard distributions and the rest. This is a standardized test where the scores are referenced against what a population sample got and hence the question arises if the sample is segregated or not?

      Are the Black test takers being evaluated against everyone else taking the test, or ONLY against the other Black test takers? This will give two very different scores, with the latter resulting in a White student who got the exact same number of questions right getting a lower SAT score than the Black student.

      Just wondering….

      For norming, see: https://www.edglossary.org/norm-referenced-test/

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