SAT To Roll Out New 'Adversity Score'

At a pivotal time in college admissions, when celebrities cheat their children’s way into top-tier universities and Harvard’s reputation is under siege by people calling for an end to affirmative action, the College Board, the company that created the SAT, is making a change to their exam in hopes of making things more equitable.

An ‘adversity score,’ a number measuring one’s hardships, will be added to the SAT. This score considers factors such as the quality of a student’s previous schooling and the dynamics of their neighborhood, and race is not used as a factor. Scores are measured out of 100 with an average person sitting at 50, and will only be visible to colleges and admissions officers. The College Board aims to use these adversity scores to put SAT scores in the context of a student’s obstacles.

The SAT college entrance exam, which is taken by two million students every year, along with another entrance exam, the ACT, has long been a point of concern for colleges and universities across the nation. Schools have been finding that, unsurprisingly, the odds tilt in favor of students from more affluent families with well-educated parents, skewing admission opportunities for their peers who come from a lower socioeconomic background.

But much like affirmative action, the effort could welcome critical responses from privileged students and families claiming that their adversity score could serve as a disadvantage.

By implementing this measure, colleges are looking to give all students a fair shot at creating something for themselves in the future, regardless of their hardships in the past.

[Source: The New York Times]

This is a really big step for colleges. I had concerns about the inequity that lies within standardized tests, so it makes me optimistic to see this. Excellent reporting, Kadjata. – LeilaniWest High School (2020-11-10 15:58)
Interesting step toward equity. It’s good that we continue to actively think about this, especially in education. I’m curious how colleges will use this exactly and if they find it helpful in recruiting talent that may have been looked over previously. – TaylorMadison (2020-11-10 17:46)