The University of Pennsylvania recently changed its position on Score Choice—giving prospective students the option of sharing or hiding their standardized test scores. In the past, Penn did not allow Score Choice, requiring applicants to report every one of their ACT and SAT scores to the school. However, this summer, the university adopted the more lenient policy, giving students the freedom to choose which scores they want to share.
Penn, along with other prestigious schools like Stanford, Yale, Georgetown, and Cornell, traditionally didn’t allow Score Choice, arguing that it favored wealthier students who had the means to take the tests more often with the ability to then hide a lower score. But now, the school says that while they encourage the reporting of all scores, they do not require it.
Penn’s Dean of Admissions, Eric Furda, said they wanted to make sure their policies were consistent across both tests. It was easier for students to delete ACT scores than SAT scores. “Students may delete records of their ACT scores at any time, giving them greater autonomy to manipulate their test scores, but have only a few days after the SAT exam to request that a score be canceled,” an article in the Daily Pennsylvanian said.
Additional changes to Penn’s test policy include not requiring the optional essay portion of either test and the allowance of “superscoring.” This means that the university will consider the highest individual section score of an SAT or ACT. They will not, however, allow the mixing of an “old” SAT score with a “new” SAT score.
Nancy Griesemer, who posted an article on medium.com on the topic, noted that Penn did not make a formal announcement regarding its policy changes—and that it is not required to do so. “It’s ultimately up to applicants and his or her advisers to keep on top of what seems to be an increasingly unpredictable and fluid process,” Griesemer said.
Visit the Penn Admissions website for a complete look at the university’s testing policies.
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