Clark University will make the submission of standardized test scores an optional part of the admissions process, beginning with the class enrolling in Fall 2013.
Clark’s decision to institute a test-optional policy follows an extensive study by the Office of Admissions and the Clark faculty. “By taking a holistic view of a student’s capabilities, character and promise, we can give more weight to his or her four-year academic record — strength of the high school, the rigor of the curriculum, grades, class rank, writing skills and outside-classroom activities,” commented Don Honeman, dean of admissions and financial aid. “This approach will allow us to better identify those students who will thrive at Clark and beyond.”
“This new policy is being implemented in tandem with Clark’s innovative and transformative approach to Liberal Education and Effective Practice, LEEPTM,” said President David Angel. “LEEP will vigorously prepare every Clark student with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for a lifetime of professional and personal fulfillment in a world that offers more complex challenges and wide-ranging opportunities than ever before. LEEP calls upon students to develop the critical skills of creativity and imagination, self-directedness, resilience and persistence, the ability to collaborate with others across differences, and to manage complexity and uncertainty – all critical skills that will be required for success in the 21st century.”
The University’s admissions staff is examining attributes and experiences students bring to their college applications that might best predict success in a learning environment focused on academic excellence, real-world engagement and problem solving.
“If you focus on what Clark is all about — working with faculty and other students in a collaborative learning environment, engaging in undergraduate research, making a difference outside of the classroom — these all involve a commitment and learning style that may not be measured very well by how you do on a test on a Saturday morning,” said Honeman.
In adopting the policy, Clark joins a growing number of distinguished liberal arts colleges and research universities including Bowdoin College, Smith College, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, American University, and Wake Forest University.
A complete list of colleges that are now test-optional—numbering near 900—can be found at fairtest.org.