Drexel Extends Test-Optional Policy
March 29, 2021
When I first heard of COVID-19 last winter, I never thought that it would disrupt my life in any significant way, and I certainly never imagined that it would be such a deadly and disruptive force affecting the entire world.
Things really hit home for me on March 12, 2020, when the NCAA Tournament was cancelled. Not only is college basketball my favorite sport, March Madness had never been cancelled before or during my lifetime! I knew then that COVID-19 was going to be a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately for me and the world, COVID's effects have lasted longer than I could have ever imagined last March.
We believe that the extension of our Test-Optional Policy will continue to provide support to students and their families in navigating the college admissions process.
By the summer, it was clear that the pandemic, among other things, was affecting access that students had to college entrance exams like the ACT and SAT. In response last July, Drexel adopted a Test-Optional Policy for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
A year after the start of the pandemic, things are looking up. We welcomed undergraduate students back to campus in January, and health and safety conditions continue to improve thanks to the availability of multiple vaccines. And, the Drexel men's basketball team made their first NCAA tournament appearance in 25 years!
In spite of the improvements made over the past year, we know that the effects of the pandemic are far from over. COVID-19 continues to cause massive disruptions for high school students, the teachers and counselors who support them, and their families. Even as a return to normalcy looms on the horizon, there are still issues with access to SAT and ACT administrations due to cancellations, and the risk factors involved for some to sit for the exams in person. After consideration of these factors and consulting with the faculty and administration at Drexel, we have decided to extend our Test-Optional Policy for the next two admission cycles (2022–2023 and 2023–2024). After the 2023–2024 admissions cycle has been completed, we will analyze the results of the three test-optional admission cycles and make a decision about the future of the Test-Optional Policy at Drexel moving forward.
We believe that the extension of our Test-Optional Policy will continue to provide support to students and their families in navigating the college admissions process. Drexel uses a holistic review process for our applicants which allows admissions representatives to consider applicants based on their accomplishments, leadership, and impact along with factors like strength of curriculum, grades, personal statements, and recommendations. The flexibility and versatility of our admissions process will ensure that Drexel remains in position to attract the students and citizens that make our community of Dragons such a special place whether they choose to submit the SAT or ACT, take advantage of our test-flexible option, or choose not to submit standardized test scores at all. As always, we look forward to meeting and working with the next generation of Drexel students.
Michael J. Keaton is Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Drexel. Mike enjoys public speaking, is a music and pop culture enthusiast, and has been working in college admissions since 1998.