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In a move that, quite frankly, surprised everyone, Columbia University is the first Ivy League school to go permanently test optional. While the other Ivys and the rest of the Top 20 (minus M.I.T. which reinstated the SAT/ACT last year) are test optional for the next couple of years, Columbia elected to make it permanent now.

Frankly, I am shocked. The NYC-based university is a top computer science and engineering school. I’m not sure how they can judge an applicant’s math and science knowledge without the SAT or ACT.

“The holistic and contextual application review process,” the a spokesman for Columbia said, “is rooted in the belief that students are dynamic, multi-faceted individuals who cannot be defined by any single factor.”

As an admissions advisor, I will still encourage applicants I work with to take the test and aim for a top score. I believe a solid number will differentiate applicants from the pool of test optional applicants.

Read all about it here.