Friday, June 26, 2015

U.S. College Admissions Exams Will Be Offered to Cuban Students

By Jordan Friedman
World Education Services

Will U.S. colleges begin recruiting international students from Cuba?

As relations between the two countries normalize, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that, for the first time, it’s possible – though there are some kinks to work out first.

According to a WSJ article published last week, two popular university-entrance exams used for U.S. university admissions will soon be offered in Cuba. These include the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, which many non-native English speakers must take when applying to universities in the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia and other countries. Four Cuban students will complete the exam at the end of June, according to the WSJ; however, there are not yet any plans to administer the test beyond this month. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) will also start offering the GRE revised general test – used for graduate school admission in the U.S. – in Cuba as early as October.

In the WSJ article, Jose Santiago, GRE business director at ETS, says there’s been “a lot of interest on both the U.S. side and the Cuba side” in enabling Cuban students to take these tests. But the process would also have its share of obstacles. For one thing, few Cuban students have credit cards, which registrants typically use to sign up for these exams. It’s also difficult to find testing facilities in Cuba with sound technological capabilities, the WSJ reports.

“This is still very new; it’s in its infancy,” Santiago told the WSJ. “There are still a lot of issues that need to be resolved.”

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