New SAT Program To Improve Admissions By Taking Students' Socioeconomic Background Into Account

30 days ago

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The College Board made an announcement Thursday it's been testing "a tool that could give the millions of students who take the SATs every year a score measuring their economic hardships and other disadvantages", NPR reports. The new tool dubbed the "Environmental Context Dashboard" contains key information about students. The database includes the rate of teens who receive free or reduced lunch, average family income, educational attainment, housing stability, and crime. The Typical Student team learned more about the benefits US students are about to get.  

Student Evaluation Score

The program has been piloted at 50 higher education institutions, it's to become widely available in 2020. Under the program, college admissions officers will be able to see students' "adversity score." BuzzFeed News reports, "a student's ECD score, or "overall disadvantage level," will fall on a scale of 1 to 100, with 50 being the national and/or state average of high school students." Below you can see the example of the dashboard provided by the College Board:

 

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Will Students Know Their Scores?

NPR reports that the scores won't be revealed to SAT test-takers. The schools, however, will see the numbers when reviewing college applications. Last year, Yale, Florida State University and Trinity University, were among colleges that took part in a pilot program to test an "adversity score."

The new dashboard promotes a more diverse approach to SAT scores distribution, as it doesn't look at race, and focuses on a student's "resourcefulness" instead.  Some school officials believe the "tool will result in more racial diversity on college campuses."  As of recent, the question of how race influences college admissions has been in the spotlight. The WSJ tweeted a diagram showing SAT score distributions by race with the following caption: “We can’t sit on our hands and ignore the disparities of wealth reflected in the SAT.” 

 

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Educational institutions have high hopes for the College Board's new initiative as it does not weigh racial factors. It may prove to be more popular.

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