Duke University has announced that it will no longer require the SAT essay or ACT writing scores for students applying for admissions.
The change will begin with next year’s incoming class.
The writing tests attached to the SAT and ACT will be optional but recommended. Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions, said the the move would reduce barriers for students from low-income families and under-resourced high schools.
“We will continue to value writing as particularly meaningful as we develop a sense of students as potential members of the Duke community,” he said in a statement. “And we will still pay careful attention to essay scores and what they represent for those students who submit them.”
He added, “We also recognize that this part of the exam can represent more of a barrier for some students than others, and we want to give every student an opportunity to be fully considered in our application process.”
Across the nation, elite universities have recently made similar announcements. Stanford and Princeton universities have also said they would drop the writing test, along with Brown University and California Institute of Technology.