Students think of a "Dean" as a signature on a letter, someone like the Wizard of Oz: an idea more than a person. I'm emerging from behind my proverbial curtain to share insights informed by my actual experience: I was a first-generation college student, and need-based financial aid opened my door to opportunity. Not many students from my large high school went on to selective colleges, so advice was thin. I was largely on my own. My platform here helps me reach those of you in a similar place.

— Lee Coffin, Vice Provost for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid



12 JANUARY 2022

A Road Map through the Testing Landscape

For high school seniors, the standardized testing landscape is more of a maze than usual these days. In this episode of "Admissions Beat," host Lee Coffin of Dartmouth provides tips on navigating the complex topography of testing. He is joined by two guests: Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services at MIT, and Leigh Weisenburger, Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Bates College. Together, they explain the various approaches to the ACT and SAT in the admissions offices of the nation's more than 2,000 four-year colleges and universities, including those that are test-optional, test-blind, test-flexible, or test-required. Dean Coffin and his guests also provide advice on whether applicants should choose to take such tests when not required to do so, and, if so, how they might decide whether to submit their scores as an element of an application. The deans then take listeners into their respective offices, as they describe how they and their colleagues use SAT and ACT scores as one component among many in the broader admissions process (spoiler alert: context, including as drawn from an applicant's background, matters).

A Road Map through the Testing Landscape

A transcript is available for this episode.

First Hand with Dean Lee Coffin

In each issue of 3D, Dartmouth's undergraduate admissions magazine that celebrates our vibrant community framed by nature, Dean Coffin shares advice and insights on the admissions process.

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