President Pitches SAT-Based Admission
At a Lang faculty meeting on March 10 President David Van Zandt said that he wants to begin considering grade point averages and SAT scores when admitting new students, reversing several admissions policies, one of which is only a year old.
Van Zandt told the faculty, according to the minutes of the meeting, that he “wants to ensure that we admit high quality students as evidenced by SAT and GPA scores.”
Only last year, Lang admissions implemented a “test optional” policy, letting applicants submit their scores if they wanted to.
Most colleges use SAT and ACT scores when evaluating students for acceptance.
Van Zandt said that he thinks Lang needs to consider how to admit students who can get the most out of what The New School offers. The fact that SAT and ACT scores are not required for applicants could mislead them. They may think the school won’t be academically challenging.
Van Zandt said that these indicators draw in a particular type of student that he wants to attract.
Peter Taback, senior director of communications at The New School, said that a way to address the quality of a New School education is to recruit students who fit The New School ideal and will arrive on campus prepared to excel.
Since The New School is considered a non-traditional university, some in admissions saw it fitting that test scores would not be required.
Annie Matches, a Lang admissions counselor, said that the admissions office hasn’t heard anything about changing this policy. She also said that everyone in admissions likes the fact that the scores are optional, and no one wants it to change.
“Although no formal conversations have taken place,” Taback added, “[The president] will work with the admissions office on ways to attract the most qualified candidates using a combination of the traditional academic indicators mentioned in these minutes and measures of students’ interest in civic engagement, which remains a trademark of The New School.”