Caltech: Caltech Announces One-Year Extension of Moratorium on SAT and ACT Requirements

This decision lengthens the two-year moratorium announced by the Institute in June 2020 to three years. As with the original moratorium, the extension is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on access to the exams for students worldwide. The first moratorium was in effect for students who applied to Caltech for first-year admission in Fall 2021 and Fall 2022. This resolution is relevant to those first-year applicants who seek admission to Caltech for Fall 2023.

“Caltech’s thorough evaluation of academic preparedness has always had to go more deeply into applicants’ credentials than just the examination of standardized test scores,” says Jared Leadbetter, professor of environmental microbiology and chair of the first-year admissions committee that recommended the extension to the Institute’s faculty board and senior leadership.

Caltech has a well-established holistic admission process in which all aspects of an applicant’s life and experiences are considered when assessing their preparation and potential performance in Caltech’s rigorous academic environment. While standardized testing has been an aspect of the evaluation of applicants, it was never the sole metric or distinguishing factor for admissions, says Jarrid Whitney, assistant vice president for student affairs, enrollment and career services.

Both the original and current moratorium removed testing as a financial and logistical barrier to applying to Caltech, Whitney adds. The extension of the moratorium also allows potential applicants to plan their application season with more information on what Caltech will require. Similarly, Caltech has the opportunity to further consider how and if testing meaningfully informs admissions officers’ evaluation and assessment of potential applicants’ preparedness for Caltech.

“As one of the world’s top research and education institutions, Caltech is not just interested in recruiting the world’s best and brightest young scholars, but in providing them with the tools, the training, and the immersive learning experience that will help them succeed at Caltech and beyond,” Whitney says.

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