Should Test Scores Determine College Admission?

College Board President David Coleman talks about increasing access to higher education at Aspen Ideas.
In June, the University of Chicago became the first top-ranked school to go test-optional. Beginning in 2023, undergraduate applicants will no longer need to submit SAT or ACT scores. University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer says the move opens access to more first-generation and low-income students. “[The decision] will encourage more students to aspire to apply,” he says. David Coleman, president of the College Board, disagrees. His organization provides free SAT practice and many other test-related services. He sees the exam as an objective measure in the admissions process. “I worry that we underestimate the corruption of relying on grades alone.” Zimmer contends his admissions team considers more than just grades. Listen to their conversation in the Aspen Ideas to Go podcast.


Registration Opens: 

  • Nov. 7, Society of Fellows
  • Nov. 14, General Public


Work Hard, Learn Your Craft
Rebecca Blumenstein didn’t become the highest ranked female employee at The New York Times overnight. Before she took the job of deputy managing editor at the Times, she rose through the ranks at The Wall Street Journal. Her advice to young women entering the profession is, “work really hard and learn your craft.” Work nights, weekends, and take extra initiative, she advises. Blumenstein speaks with USA Today’s Susan Page in our special “Off-Stage” podcast series.
Jon Batiste Through the Years
At Aspen Ideas, musician Jon Batiste has addressed black music history, how to get millennials hooked on jazz, and the Festival's role in helping him land a gig as bandleader on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show.” With the release of his new solo album, Hollywood Africans, we look back on Batiste’s many Festival appearances. What can we learn from Batiste about the roots of music and how it influences health?
"Make time for gratitude every single day. We spend time incubating and thinking about the hassles, but the research finds that happy people do the opposite. And whenever possible, try to express that gratitude." — Laurie Santos, Aspen Ideas 2018