WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A summer of 2015 decision to not require SAT or ACT scores for most students applying for admission at the George Washington University for fall 2016 has led to the most diverse freshman class in the university's history.
With the final numbers tabulated for students who entered as freshmen in fall 2016, the university saw a 33 percent increase in students from underrepresented minority groups. This population makes up 20.2 percent of this year's class compared with 14.9 percent of last year's class. "We adopted our test-optional policy to diversify an already outstanding applicant pool by reaching out to exceptional students who have been underrepresented at selective colleges and universities," said GW President Steven Knapp. "Our experience this first year under the new policy would seem to validate that approach." More than 25,550 undergraduate students applied to enter for fall 2016, an unprecedented 29 percent increase in applications over the previous year. Of the applicants, 21 percent opted to take advantage of GW's test optional policy. GW accepted 40 percent and enrolled a freshman class of 2,523 students from 48 states and the District of Columbia and 60 countries. Of the total enrolled class, 29 percent chose not to submit test scores. One element that influenced GW's decision to adopt a test-optional admissions policy was a concern that outstanding, academically talented students who did not earn high scores on the SAT or ACT may have felt discouraged from applying.