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SAT will assign a new score that factors in where you live and how much your parents make

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SAT will assign a new score that factors in where you live and how much your parents make

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The nonprofit group that administers the SAT will assign an adversity score to each student who takes the test to reflect social and economic backgrounds, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The move comes amid heightened scrutiny that colleges are facing over the admissions process and the diversity of their student bodies.

"There are a number of amazing students who may have scored less (on the SAT) but have accomplished more," David Coleman, chief executive officer of the College Board, told the Journal. "We can't sit on our hands and ignore the disparities of wealth reflected in the SAT."

The number will be calculated using 15 factors, the Journal reported, including the crime rate and poverty levels of a student's high school and neighborhood. Colleges will be able to see the number when considering applicants, but students themselves won't be told their scores.

According to the Journal, 50 colleges used the adversity score in a beta test last year, and the College Board plans to expand the program to 150 institutions this fall.

CNN is reaching out to the College Board for confirmation of The Wall Street Journal's report.

According to the Journal, the score does not account for a student's race. Students are rated on a scale of 1 to 100 based on publicly available data from records such as the US census, Coleman told the paper.

A score of 50 would be considered average, the Journal reported, while a number above 50 indicates hardship, and a number below 50 privilege.

...

 

 

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I don't know if each student's number should be a secret, but I don't have an issue with identifying what a student might have overcome to get a particular score.

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Two thoughts:

Wealth <> Income

There is no way this isn't going to be used to racially discriminate (likely against Asians)

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1 minute ago, Slapdash said:

Two thoughts:

Wealth <> Income

There is no way this isn't going to be used to racially discriminate (likely against Asians)

that's the point.

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IN before:

"I did it all myself" - guy who didn't.

"It's unfair" - guy who's finally facing a hurdle after having been fortunate to avoid the 50 prior that everyone else had to get through.

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9 minutes ago, [scooter] said:

Seems too easy to game the system.

You mean nowadays or with the new formula?

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2 minutes ago, parasaurolophus said:

So are college admissions counselors the laziest people on the planet?

This might be part of it, but on the other hand, it's tough for someone from a college to understand the conditions under which that student achieved their scores.  As an admissions counselor I think I'd find it helpful to know that Jane got a 1400 on her SAT while living an incredibly high crime / poverty area when comparing her to Joe who grew up in the well to do area assuming certain entitlements in life while Mary was earning her entitlements.  

It brings an element of environment/conditions that isn't accounted for anywhere else in the process.

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1 minute ago, The Commish said:

This might be part of it, but on the other hand, it's tough for someone from a college to understand the conditions under which that student achieved their scores.  As an admissions counselor I think I'd find it helpful to know that Jane got a 1400 on her SAT while living an incredibly high crime / poverty area when comparing her to Joe who grew up in the well to do area assuming certain entitlements in life while Mary was earning her entitlements.  

It brings an element of environment/conditions that isn't accounted for anywhere else in the process.

How is it any harder for college admissions counselors to do it compared to the SAT people?

It isnt like the SAT is going to subpoena bank records and follow the kids around. So they will either use publicly available info that admissions counselors should already be using, or they will be relying on survey info from the students or the students families (which is a terrible way to get data). 

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As an additional metric so be it.  Then again, lets say they do this.  Lets say that the educational institutions seek the diversity of the disadvantaged.  What happens if the disadvantaged prove to be poor classmates in a violent or criminal way.  What happens when applicants seek the breakdown percentages of such applicants in the student body as a measure of safety or desirability and start seeking institutions who do not admit these persons? 

Elitists are going to elite. You just know this would matter to Aunt Becky.

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1 minute ago, parasaurolophus said:

How is it any harder for college admissions counselors to do it compared to the SAT people?

It isnt like the SAT is going to subpoena bank records and follow the kids around. So they will either use publicly available info that admissions counselors should already be using, or they will be relying on survey info from the students or the students families (which is a terrible way to get data). 

When I initially read it, my thought went immediately to the scandals at the colleges around admissions.  I don't know if it's harder/easier for either group, but if it's going to be utilized, I think I'd trust the SAT people a lot more than the colleges themselves.

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45 minutes ago, Slapdash said:

Two thoughts:

Wealth <> Income

There is no way this isn't going to be used to racially discriminate (likely against Asians)

Universities can and do racially discriminate now.  I think they correctly realize that race-based affirmative action is on its last legs though, and they're looking at "socioeconomic diversity" as an alternative.  I can actually get behind that one if it's done in a good-faith manner.

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Posted (edited)

I had a friend pull his kids out of private school and send them to the local HS after their freshman year (for the first one, the second went right to the public after middle school).  It was a serious step down in education, but he spent the private school money on tutors and the kids took JC courses in the summer.  He’s a number cruncher.  Figured it would be cake for them to qualify for the UC top 10% guarantee at the crappy school.  Worked out well.  I don’t know if I could have done that.  Seemed risky at the time. 

Smart people know how to game the system. College is a big enough deal to families and the process is easily exploited.  If they are going to make preferred paths, those paths are going to get inundated.

On the plus side, overt racism in college admissions seems to be on its last legs.

Edited by jonessed
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21 minutes ago, jonessed said:

I had a friend pull his kids out of private school and send them to the local HS after their freshman year (for the first one, the second went right to the public after middle school).  It was a serious step down in education, but he spent the private school money on tutors and the kids took JC courses in the summer.  He’s a number cruncher.  Figured it would be cake for them to qualify for the UC top 10% guarantee at the crappy school.  Worked out well.  I don’t know if I could have done that.  Seemed risky at the time. 

Smart people know how to game the system. College is a big enough deal to families and the process is easily exploited.  If they are going to make preferred paths, those paths are going to get inundated.

On the plus side, overt racism in college admissions seems to be on its last legs.

I'm not sure what this has to do with this new metric that will be available.  Is this a "game the system" event by your friend?  Seems like he saw his kid wasn't going to be top 10% where he was so he moved them?  I don't know if that's gaming the system or being smart....seems like being smart because he knew his kid wouldn't make the cut otherwise.  :oldunsure: 

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9 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I'm not sure what this has to do with this new metric that will be available.  Is this a "game the system" event by your friend?  Seems like he saw his kid wasn't going to be top 10% where he was so he moved them?  I don't know if that's gaming the system or being smart....seems like being smart because he knew his kid wouldn't make the cut otherwise.  :oldunsure: 

Same difference.  Gaming the system isn’t cheating.  The system was designed to target minorities.  He simply used it to give his family an easier and cheaper path.  Smart choice.

There are consultants that know the rules, path out how to exploit them, and then work to finalize the applications.  It’s an entire industry in China.  It’s like taxes.  The more complex it is, the more loopholes develop.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, The Commish said:

IN before:

"I did it all myself" - guy who didn't.

"It's unfair" - guy who's finally facing a hurdle after having been fortunate to avoid the 50 prior that everyone else had to get through.

:lmao: It's this generation's "I used to walk uphill to school both ways."

Edited by 2Squirrels1Nut

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14 minutes ago, jonessed said:

Same difference.  Gaming the system isn’t cheating.  The system was designed to target minorities.  He simply used it to give his family an easier and cheaper path.  Smart choice.

There are consultants that know the rules, path out how to exploit them, and then work to finalize the applications.  It’s an entire industry in China.  It’s like taxes.  The more complex it is, the more loopholes develop.

I think I follow....I don't know the system you're referring to so that's why I asked.  Seems like a smart move.  My college career was funded by literally dozens of small scholarships based on the rules in place.  I don't have a problem with the people who take the time to analyze and work the system via the rules.  That's smart IMO....same thing with the tax code.

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1 hour ago, The Commish said:

I think I follow....I don't know the system you're referring to so that's why I asked.  Seems like a smart move.  My college career was funded by literally dozens of small scholarships based on the rules in place.  I don't have a problem with the people who take the time to analyze and work the system via the rules.  That's smart IMO....same thing with the tax code.

If you are too 10% of your graduating class you automatically get a UC spot.

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4 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

Universities can and do racially discriminate now.  I think they correctly realize that race-based affirmative action is on its last legs though, and they're looking at "socioeconomic diversity" as an alternative.  I can actually get behind that one if it's done in a good-faith manner.

That is obviously what it is, which means they are looking for a way to skirt the equal protection of our Constitution.  Not sure how you can spin such a move as being done in good faith.  

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1 hour ago, jonessed said:

If you are too 10% of your graduating class you automatically get a UC spot.

:thumbup:

You had mentioned that it targets minorities...what do you mean by that?

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Interesting, but probably not terribly important in the overall scheme of things. 

I did not read the article, but we would be an interesting test case - both of my kids are in different magnet programs, that are housed within lower performing schools. If they used the school data it will make it appear that my kids are from an impoverished area - yet, that is not where they live, nor indicative of any challenges they faced. 

 

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2 hours ago, avoiding injuries said:

Is this adjusted rating also going to follow them into college and influence the curve of their grades?

Why would it?

i don't think a standardized test score alone determines what makes a successful student in any given college. 

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9 hours ago, avoiding injuries said:

Is this adjusted rating also going to follow them into college and influence the curve of their grades?

These factors are already built into college experience in terms of employers evaluating resumes.  When they see a 4.0 from Yale vs a 4.0 from Alabama, they see the difference...it's baked into school reputation.  I don't know why it would have anything to do with grades as the instructors/professors would have no idea about any of this just like it doesn't come into play for the highschool grades.

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9 hours ago, avoiding injuries said:

Is this adjusted rating also going to follow them into college and influence the curve of their grades?

It’s actually pretty amazing when you see kids from nothing (not very little - actual nothing) get to college.  kids with GPAs in the 1s and 2s end up as 3s-4 because they have a bed to sleep in for the first time ever. And food to eat. For instance. 

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Curious whether the analysis will be done as a snapshot in time (where you live and what your parents make at the time you take the test), or based on data over a broader period of your childhood. 

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21 minutes ago, bigbottom said:

Curious whether the analysis will be done as a snapshot in time (where you live and what your parents make at the time you take the test), or based on data over a broader period of your childhood. 

Listening to the guy on NPR this morning, I'm not sure it will be data like specific income of parents.  It will be "average household income of the area" etc.  It will be information like number of kids on free lunch, the system's performance levels etc  Up a bit from individual detail at little more macro in nature.  It seems like it would be the current state of the environment you're living/working in to achieve whatever result you end up achieving.  It's meant to try and help provide context to the conditions under which you achieved.  

I have to say, it's refreshing to see some self reflection from groups like this.  They see the heavy reliance schools put on their scoring and they see that the score itself doesn't give a full picture of the student and they are trying to close that gap.  Good for them :thumbup: 

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Posted (edited)

I have to say that it's certainly an interesting way to ascertain merit and potential. The SAT, contrary to popular belief, was instituted as a move toward merit-based admissions rather than the older class system perpetuated by many of the top universities. The SAT actually leveled the playing field for the middle and lower classes.

That it continues to try to do so is interesting and seemingly in keeping with the mission statement the original ETS had.

Edited by rockaction
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13 minutes ago, The Commish said:

They see the heavy reliance schools put on their scoring and they see that the score itself doesn't give a full picture of the student and they are trying to close that gap.  Good for them :thumbup: 

Just anecdotally - my sister works in the Admissions office of a big mid-Atlantic university - she says that SAT/ACT scores are pretty low on the scale of things they look at in deciding admissions.

:shrug:

 

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Just now, Sinn Fein said:

Just anecdotally - my sister works in the Admissions office of a big mid-Atlantic university - she says that SAT/ACT scores are pretty low on the scale of things they look at in deciding admissions.

:shrug:

 

Yep...it's starting to change.  There are many schools that aren't even requiring admissions testing anymore, especially for graduate school.  

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12 hours ago, The Commish said:

:thumbup:

You had mentioned that it targets minorities...what do you mean by that?

The lower performing, lower rated schools in CA are almost always high minority populations.  It was a way to allow them to grab UC spots even if their standardized test scores would not otherwise gain them admission.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, jon_mx said:

That is obviously what it is, which means they are looking for a way to skirt the equal protection of our Constitution.  Not sure how you can spin such a move as being done in good faith.  

Avoiding race as a determining factor is important.

My issue with the new rating is that it’s not actually based on the student.  It’s based on a generalization.  Individuals should be judged as individuals.

I like the CA method better.  Obviously, it’s implementation is specific to CA, but it seems more fair if your objective is true diversity.

Edited by jonessed
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5 minutes ago, jonessed said:

My issue with the new rating is that it’s not actually based on the student.  It’s based on a generalization.

Not sure I am following this either.  The SAT score is wholly the student's score.  The new rating is an attempt to shed light on the conditions under which the SAT score was achieved.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Not sure I am following this either.  The SAT score is wholly the student's score.  The new rating is an attempt to shed light on the conditions under which the SAT score was achieved.

The new rating is a generalization of the school /neighborhood demographics. They aren’t specific to the student.  For example, my daughter’s HS includes areas that are affluent, but also pulls from a much rougher area.  The conditions of the school aren’t going to be a great representation of the true living conditions for a lot of those kids.

Like I said, I prefer merit based because it’s actually measuring the individual.  It’s not based on a generalization.

Edited by jonessed
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1 minute ago, jonessed said:

The new rating is a generalization of the school /neighborhood demographics. They aren’t specific to the student.  For example, my daughter’s HS includes areas that are affluent, but also pulls from a much rougher area.  The conditions of the school aren’t going to be a great representation of the true living conditions for a lot of those kids.

Like I said, I prefer merit based because it’s actually measuring the individual.  It’s not based on a generalization.

I'll need to read some more, but it seemed like they'd be taking into account the neighborhood, the school, the economy of the area etc.  That's the general impression I was left with after the interview.  So for example, the school I went to pulled from several different areas...from the uber rich to pretty dirt poor.  Both would be noted...but I could be wrong.

I'm not sure how one go about getting this detailed on every student outside of individual interviews either.

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3 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I'll need to read some more, but it seemed like they'd be taking into account the neighborhood, the school, the economy of the area etc.  That's the general impression I was left with after the interview.  So for example, the school I went to pulled from several different areas...from the uber rich to pretty dirt poor.  Both would be noted...but I could be wrong.

I'm not sure how one go about getting this detailed on every student outside of individual interviews either.

Interviews and surveys are a terrible tool for this. Would be exploited so easily within a year or two, maybe right away even. 

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42 minutes ago, jonessed said:

Avoiding race as a determining factor is important.

My issue with the new rating is that it’s not actually based on the student.  It’s based on a generalization.  Individuals should be judged as individuals.

I like the CA method better.  Obviously, it’s implementation is specific to CA, but it seems more fair if your objective is true diversity.

The great thing about this score is that it is not disclosed to the student.  They make up some score based on vague general socioeconomic criteria which as according to these schools have a big impact on whether you get in or not.   And the student has zero idea.   That is total BS.  

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55 minutes ago, jonessed said:

Avoiding race as a determining factor is important.

My issue with the new rating is that it’s not actually based on the student.  It’s based on a generalization.  Individuals should be judged as individuals.

I like the CA method better.  Obviously, it’s implementation is specific to CA, but it seems more fair if your objective is true diversity.

Agree 100%

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14 minutes ago, parasaurolophus said:

Interviews and surveys are a terrible tool for this. Would be exploited so easily within a year or two, maybe right away even. 

Right....that's why I don't have a huge issue with what they are doing....as long as it's kept in context of course.

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17 minutes ago, jon_mx said:

according to these schools have a big impact on whether you get in or not.

What schools?  It's been used as a beta at a select few and I have seen zero comments from them saying they rely on this particular score heavily as you seem to be asserting here.

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1 hour ago, The Commish said:

What schools?  It's been used as a beta at a select few and I have seen zero comments from them saying they rely on this particular score heavily as you seem to be asserting here.

From the link in the OP, it sounds quite significant:

Yale University was one of the schools that tried using the adversity scores as it worked to increase socioeconomic diversity on its campus.

Jeremiah Quinlan, the school's dean of undergraduate admissions, told the Wall Street Journal that Yale has nearly doubled the number of low-income students and those who are first in their families to attend college to about 20% of new students.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, jon_mx said:

From the link in the OP, it sounds quite significant:

Yale University was one of the schools that tried using the adversity scores as it worked to increase socioeconomic diversity on its campus.

Jeremiah Quinlan, the school's dean of undergraduate admissions, told the Wall Street Journal that Yale has nearly doubled the number of low-income students and those who are first in their families to attend college to about 20% of new students.

To continue:

Quote

 

"This (adversity score) is literally affecting every application we look at," Quinlan told the Journal. "It has been a part of the success story to help diversify our freshman class."

 

 

 

It's certainly part of the equation.  If that's all you were stating, then fine.  I didn't get that impression from your initial comment but I appreciate the clarification.  They accept roughly 2000 a year. So this has moved the needle (for Yale) by 200 students.

Edited by The Commish

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The more I read about this and the more I read about what has been happening at the elite universities this whole thing makes even less sense.

Schools aren't in need of a better metric for increasing minority enrollment or giving a fairer shake. Minority enrollment has been increasing dramatically for 10 years.

This seems much more like colleges wanting a third party to create a hidden metric so they can try and pretend that they haven't actively discriminated against asian students. 

This quote is based off of a 2009 study.

Quote

a National Study of College Experience led by Espenshade and Radford (2009) showed that a student who self-identifies as Asian will need 140 SAT points higher than whites, 320 SAT points higher than Hispanics, and 450 SAT points higher than African Americans.

That was from 2009 data. Seems universities werent having any trouble accounting for lower scores on SAT's. And Minority enrollment has increased since then. 

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It is always strikes me that when we discuss these issues we spend far too much time focusing on college level education. The real discrepancy takes place well below that, in primary school and middle school. If we want to resolve inequities in our society (and this seems like a worthwhile goal) that is where we should start. 

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The minneapolis fire department did this for awhile for their cadet program or something similar. Had income be the main factor. The annual income was rediclously low to qualify for applying.  Turns out their first class was vastly white.  They ended the program shortly after. 

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