Two Ivy League Schools Get Rid of Standardized Tests to Promote “Intellectual Diversity”

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
By Paul Martin

By Jose Nino
BigLeaguePolitics.com
Nov 18, 2019

Two Ivy League universities announced that many graduate programs will discontinue their traditional standardized Graduate Records Examination testing requirements for applicants.

They cite reasons dealing with “diversity” and concerns that these tests are “biased” against minority and low-income students.

Princeton University and Brown University recently announced that they are discarding standardized testing requirements for graduate admission under the banner of creating a more “diverse” student body.

Back in September, Princeton announced its decision to get rid of the standardized test for 14 different graduate programs in September, declaring that the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is biased against minority groups.

The Princeton Graduate School Associate Dean for Access, Diversity, and Inclusion, Renita Miller, called for “intellectual diversity” in graduate programs, and highlighted the importance of “demographic diversity.”

Miller argues that scrapping this requirement will help Princeton accomplish its mission “to identify, attract and develop the most promising individuals from as many segments of society as possible.”

“Universities like Princeton have done a good job at expanding and diversifying their undergraduate populations,” Miller added.

“If we want to make similar strides on the graduate level, we must find new ways to recruit and enroll graduate students who may be the first in their families to attend college, and from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds.”

To bring more equality to graduate programs, many university officials believe that phasing out standardized testing is the way to accomplish this. Princeton Director of Graduate Studies for Classics Johannes Haubold argues that “there is concern that standardized tests are culturally biased in favor of certain groups; and that they end up testing primarily how good one is at taking tests.” Haubold cited resource concerns, pointing out that some students can afford coaching for standardized tests while others don’t have this luxury.

In October, Brown University announced a similar initiative which eliminated GRE requirements for 24 doctoral programs. The university argued that eliminating these requirements would “attract a wider pool of applicants” and “reduce barriers that discourage some students from groups historically underrepresented in higher education and from low-income backgrounds from applying for admission.”

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