Brown University will no longer require the SAT essay or ACT writing sections from incoming applicants. The ivy league university believes the standardized test sections were a barrier to low-income students.
The change is apart of a wider attempt to reduce the financial burden of applying to Brown. The university already offers application fee waivers to low-income families.
Brown said skipping the writing scores will allow more students to take advantage of free standardized testing increasingly offered in many schools. Testing that does not always include the writing portions of the SAT and ACT.
“Given the significant growth in free school-day testing, it’s important to enable students from low-income families to take advantage of the tests already offered by their school districts and not place an undue burden on them to go in separately outside of normal school hours,” said Logan Powell, the University’s dean of admission. “Our goal is that for any talented student interested in Brown, the application process is not a deterrent — and we don’t want this test to be a barrier to their application.”
Although the SAT and ACT scores will no longer be required, Brown said it will still allow applicants to submit them. The University also recommends that applicants submit a graded paper from a humanities or social sciences course as part of their application.
The new writing policy will start with next year's incoming undergraduate class.