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Cornell reinstates standardized testing requirement for admissions

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Cornell University announced on Monday that it will reinstate the standardized testing requirement for undergraduate applicants starting in 2026, following an evaluation by a university task force. This decision aligns Cornell with several other Ivy League institutions that have recently reverted to the pre-pandemic admissions criteria.


The task force’s investigation revealed that removing SAT/ACT requirements did not significantly enhance diversity at the university, nor did it clearly improve access to the institution. The report highlighted that students who submitted their test scores generally exhibited better academic outcomes than those who did not.

The reinstatement of the testing requirement will not affect students applying for fall 2025 but will be applicable for subsequent admissions cycles. Cornell encourages prospective students to submit their SAT or ACT scores even to the colleges within the university that currently operate on a test-optional basis. This move comes as other Ivy League schools such as Dartmouth, Yale, and Brown have also reinstated their testing requirements post-COVID-19 disruptions.