Wake Forest University Admits its first SAT-Optional Students

April 18, 2009

Last year, Wake Forest University decided to make SATs optional for its students. Recently, they interviewed 8,000 students–an increase of 16 percent–as a part of their new application process.

“We anticipated growth in the applicant pool, but remained committed to using personal interviews to ensure that we retained our high standards,” said Martha Allman, director of admissions at Wake Forest University.

Eighty percent of student applicants were interviewed in person, via webcam or through a written, online interview. Allman and her staff were able to get more characteristics that were human from the applicants this way. “We found that the interviews truly helped us differentiate among applicants,” said Allman. “We began to wonder how we chose a class without interviews.”

Twenty-eight percent of applicants chose not to submit their SAT scores. “They saw themselves as more than numbers and they appreciated the fact that we did, too,” said Allman. “The SAT was never designed to measure intelligence.”

Still Allman concedes that they don’t know how this new policy will stack up against traditional means. “The jury is out,” Allman said. “We don’t know the outcome, but we know these students better than any class before and we believe they will enrich the culture of Wake Forest.”

Read the article of its announcement of SAT optional at StudentsOver30.