Beginning fall 2012, the University of Rochester Admissions Office will become "test flexible," allowing applicants to the undergraduate College of Arts, Sciences & Engineering to submit any national or international test result along with their secondary school records of courses and grades. Adopting the "test flexible" policy comes after an eight year pilot phase; since 2004, Rochester Admissions has incorporated many kinds of test score submissions into the application review process, but has always required students to submit an SAT or ACT score before applications are deemed complete. Under the new policy, applicants for admission will be eligible for review after sending one of several examination options, and no longer must include SAT or ACT scores.
Jonathan Burdick, dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Rochester, explained that this change demonstrates a commitment to the University's holistic review of an applicant, where test scores are only one indicator of a student's ability to be successful here. Burdick said that through the pilot phase, Rochester readers have grown more confident in recommending for admission applicants with strong subject testing scores, including the SAT subject exams, International Baccalaureate (IB) examination results, and Advanced Placement (AP) exams, even when the SAT or ACT scores were not in Rochester's typical 90th-100th percentile ranges. He cites rising selectivity, retention, and graduation rates as proof that the confidence is well-founded.
"Rochester, like many universities, values diverse ways of thinking—and diverse experiences—more than students realize," Burdick said. "Many prospective students 'test well' on general standardized exams, and bring that ability to campus, while some are best at mastering specific material in subjects that interest them most, and bring that diligence and focus. Both kinds of students can thrive at Rochester, and both will do best when they find each other here and develop many ways to collaborate and challenge each other."