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Changes coming to the SAT test, additional score for applicants

There are not three more daunting letters to a high school upperclassman than “S-A-T, but SAT creators at the College Board said they have been concerned about the impact of income inequality on SAT scores. Now they are planning to level the playing field.

The College Board is switching it up. In addition to the regular test score, college and universities will also receive an additional score for each student.

Justin Ball, Vice President for Enrollment Management at Bradley University, said he works with the regional College Board regularly, adding 50 colleges and universities currently use this adversity score, but Ball said Bradley is not one of them.

“Our plan here is to take a few years. Gather and look at that data and see if this is a helpful tool to help us decide whether a young man or woman applying to Bradley has a greater or more likely chance of success based on these scores,” said Ball.

The score ranges from 1-100 and higher scores indicate more adversity. To come up with the score, the College Board uses “The Environmental Context Dashboard” to calculate factors like crime rates, high school graduation rates, students home environment and eligibility for free and reduced lunches, using national data.

Ball said Bradley is already looking at several factors when considering an applicant and are familiar with many of the high schools where they recruit.

“I think for some highly selective colleges and universities, this is an opportunity for them to have another component to evaluate students,” stated Ball.

Over at District 150, Superintendent Dr. Sharon Kherat thought this adversity score was an interesting move.

“It just speaks to the things we deal with as a city, as a district, when it comes to inequities, when you look at housing and jobs,” said Kherat.

She said it is larger than just adding a score.

“If they think it will help, then that is fine, but I think the system is, again, badly broken and needs to be boldly and aggressively addressed,” stated Kherat.


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