Stevens’ New Admissions Options Offer Flexibility, More Access for Prospective Students
Stevens Institute of Technology’s Division of Enrollment Management is making substantial changes for undergraduate applicants, all with a common theme: access.
Most notably, Stevens has launched an early action application option — in addition to the existing early decision and regular decision admission options — for prospective students applying for Fall 2024. This new option offers applicants the opportunity to express a serious interest in Stevens as part of their application without the commitment of an early decision application, which requires admitted students to accept admission less than a month after receiving their decision. Early action also sets applicants apart from the more crowded regular decision cycle.
“Implementing early action optimizes Stevens’ commitment to diversity and strategic growth by allowing students who aren’t comfortable with early decision or the competitive nature of regular decision to stay on Stevens’ radar,” says April Chang, dean of undergraduate admissions. “We want to give prospective students flexibility, particularly if they want to compare financial options before committing to a university.”
Along with the new application option, the makeup of Stevens’ undergraduate application has changed. The test optional policy, which allows most applicants to forgo submitting standardized SAT or ACT scores, had been in place on a year-by-year basis since Covid but has now officially been extended through Fall 2026.
Cindy Chin, vice president for enrollment management, says that by not requiring these tests, Stevens is broadening its reach to interested students who may otherwise be discouraged because of lack of access to the tests or if they do not excel at taking tests.
“Some students are not strong test takers or don’t have the resources to utilize test prep services or take the test multiple times, but they are still academically prepared to study at Stevens,” she says. “We can still gauge their potential for success through a comprehensive and holistic review of their high school coursework, extracurricular activities and internships.”
Another change to the application comes in the form of new personal essay prompts, which Chang says are more specific to Stevens as well as the applicant’s individual experiences, accomplishments, adversities and challenges that make them a good candidate for Stevens.
“We really want to know more than what we can see on a transcript. As Stevens becomes more competitive, we fully embrace a holistic review process that allows us to home in on more than the numerical makeup of a potential student.”
Stevens also recently joined the Coalition for College, a diverse group of elite universities across the U.S. that have demonstrated a commitment to access, affordability, academic outcomes, student success and fostering a sense of belonging for all students. Through the Coalition for College, Stevens can partner with community-based organizations that help spread the word about the opportunities at Stevens, and offer students another method to apply in addition to the Common Application.
“The community-based organizations that work with Coalition for College are often in locations where Stevens is not as well known, so this association gives us the chance to get the Stevens name out there and connect with these communities, some of which are underserved. We now have access to a more diverse pool of potential candidates, which increases our chances of having a diverse student body,” Chang says.
With the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that prohibits the consideration of race as a factor in admissions decisions, Chin says that these changes are necessary to reach a broader pool of students.
“We started discussing and planning for early action, test optional and joining the Coalition long before the Supreme Court decisions but everything has aligned at a time when broad access and reach to students is even more critical,” she says. “We know that a STEM-focused education — especially a Stevens education — prepares students for personal and professional success, as well as impactful career outcomes, and it is our goal to be able to reach as many students as possible.”
In addition to daily information sessions, campus tours and departmental tours, Undergraduate Admissions will host several larger weekend events this fall, including: a Saturday Tour on Sept. 16; General Visit Days on Oct. 7 and 28; a Math and Sciences and a Humanities, Arts and Social Science Visit Day, both on Oct. 21; a Business Visit Day on Nov. 5; and an Understanding Financial Aid Visit Day on Nov. 18. To learn more and set up a visit to Stevens, click here.