I saw some statistics from Northeastern University today. From 2020 to the present, 20% of students submitting Duolingo English Test scores to that university have come from underrepresented minority groups. Meanwhile, just 7% of applicants submitting TOEFL scores and 4% of applicants submitting IELTS scores have come from underrepresented groups.

I’ve written many times here about how the high costs of taking traditional English tests (the TOEFL costs as much as $450 to take) means that such tests can reduce the diversity of applicant pools at universities. These statistics speak to that obvious reality.

I understand that traditional tests will never be as cheap as the Duolingo English Test, but there are certainly things that can be done to lower their costs (and their sometimes onerous post-test fees).