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Stanford University will once again require applicants to submit standardized test scores, ending four years of a test-optional policy put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new policy will go into effect in fall 2025, and will not apply to the upcoming cycle’s applicants.

The university will require students to submit either SAT or ACT scores. According to a statement announcing the reversal, the decision was based on an internal review by the Faculty Committee on Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid which determined that test scores are “an important predictor of academic performance at Stanford.”

That finding is in line with the internal research held up by a wave of selective universities to justify a return to test requirements—including Dartmouth, Yale and the California Institute of Technology—following on the heels of an Opportunity Insights study that has reignited a heated debate over the benefits of testing requirements. 

Notably, unlike Dartmouth, Yale and other institutions—including Brown and the University of Texas at Austin—Stanford’s decision and review did not argue that returning to test mandates would boost class diversity.