Tulane announces it will remain test-optional for 2021-22 applicants

Sophie Brams, Staff Reporter

Tulane’s Office of Admissions announced that the school would remain test optional for 2021-22 applicants. This means, for the second consecutive year, applicants will not be required to submit standardized test scores, including scores for the SAT and ACT. 

After test cancellations took place across the US in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tulane decided to waive the requirement. Although tests are being offered this year, many high school students are still facing hardships due to the pandemic, including widespread school closures and financial hardship. 

Satyajit Dattagupta, vice president of enrollment management and dean of admission, said the Office of Admissions wanted to be proactive and alleviate some of the stress associated with testing during a pandemic. 

“The pandemic has impacted different states across the country in different ways, but what’s true still is every junior student is concerned and anxious about whether or not they’ll be able to take the standardized SAT or ACT test,” Dattagupta said. 

Dattagupta added that while standardized test scores have always been a component of the application review process, the focus has really shifted to a student’s transcript. 

“The transcript is at the core of the application because it tells us the academic story of the student from the freshman year to their last year of high school.” 

In addition, the Office of Admissions introduced an interview program and encouraged applicants to interview, although it was not required. Admissions counselors conducted about 7,000 interviews with students across the country. 

“That really helped us get another dimension to the applicant,” Dattagupta said. “If the student wants to tell us a story beyond what we see on the application, we invited them to do so.”  

Dattagupta noted that the Office of Admissions has already received positive feedback from high school juniors who believe that it takes away an added level of stress. When asked if Tulane plans to remain test-optional in the future, Dattagupta said it is certainly a possibility. 

“This is a national discussion,” he said. “We will continue to research and probably have a decision on the year after or even the future in early 2022.”