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George Washington Law Scraps Plan to Accept GRE
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GW Law

Summary: George Washington Law School announced in December that they would accept the GRE in place of the LSAT but have changed their minds.

A number of law schools have announced they will accept Graduate Record Exam scores in place of traditional Law School Admission Test scores. In an effort to remain competitive with these law schools, more law schools made similar announcements. George Washington University Law School was one of those. The law school announced in December that they would accept the alternative test during the current admissions cycle. Less than four weeks later, the law school quietly reversed that decision, according to The GW Hatchet.

  
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GW Law School officials decided in January that they could not accept the GRE until they conducted an independent research study to confirm its accuracy in depicting which students were prepared for the rigors of law school and the bar exam. An admissions expert and law school professor fears that the change in policy in the middle of an application cycle may confuse prospective students.

Law School spokeswoman Liz Field explained that the school emailed GRE applicants about the reversal in policy when they made the change in January. The school has not made any other public announcement regarding the decision.

The move to accept the GRE by law schools is an attempt to expand accessibility and increase the diversity of its applicants. The GRE testing company Educational Testing Service has already conducted a study nationwide to find out the efficacy of the GRE, but many law schools want their own study done.

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GW Law wants to determine if students at their school who take the GRE will be as competitive as other students in the J.D. program. Field said, “In an abundance of caution, we decided we needed to do our own site survey, which we are doing at this moment, and stop accepting the GRE for this admissions cycle. We absolutely plan to accept it next year, provided we are permitted.”

Less than ten applicants were affected by the change in policy, according to Field. The school offered refunds to those students who submitted applications with GRE scores, extended the submission deadline, gave guaranteed admission to students who scored within a certain percentage on the test, and offered “expedited review” for students who took the LSAT in June.



GW Law Public Interest Law Professor John Banzhaf was disappointed in the school’s decision. The number of students submitting a GRE score was small so he didn’t think they would have any bearing on the school’s future accreditation. He said, “I think we should have gone and admitted them. We’re only talking about a few students. I think what we did is embarrassing and something strange.”

Banzhaf added, “With the economic collapse and what we now call the law school transparency movement, most of these students move on to business or something and a lot of the top people with the most academic qualifications are no longer interested in taking the LSAT. Permitting the GRE allows law schools to attract academically qualified applicants.”

In order to keep their rankings up, GW Law has been reducing their class sizes but they continue to receive some of the highest numbers of application in the nation. Law school admissions expert also found it strange for the school to stop accepting the GRE completely.

The ETS website states that roughly 19 law schools are now accepting the GRE.

Do you think George Washington Law made a mistake to completely drop the GRE option after announcing they would accept it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about which schools are accepting the GRE read these articles:

Photo: forbes.com



 

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