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Question about 1600 SAT scores late 60's, early 70's

legendofmaxlegendofmax Posts: 4,732Registered User Senior Member
edited September 2011 in College Admissions
Just writing out of curiosity, as I no longer have access to my copy of A is for Admission.

I was wondering what a 1600 during this time period was able to do for you. Just how much rarer was it compared to today? How was it viewed in terms of admissions? How was financial aid structured around this time with respect to elite colleges?
Post edited by legendofmax on
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Replies to: Question about 1600 SAT scores late 60's, early 70's

  • bobtheboybobtheboy Posts: 2,216Registered User Senior Member
    In those years, grades and SAT scores good enough could get you into college. My uncle got into college because he got a 1600 on his SAT, his GPA was around 3.75 and he didn't really do anything outside of school except build models (of cars, planes, and ships, etc.) and Boy Scouts (although he became Eagle after being accepted to college). SAT was huge in those days. These days, 2350+ or 35/36 ACT is far more common and a 4.0 GPA is a dime a dozen, so extracurriculars are more often the determining factor, or other things like essays, diversity, etc.

    Don't know about financial aid.
  • legendofmaxlegendofmax Posts: 4,732Registered User Senior Member
    I am not sure what aid was like back then, to be honest. I know schools were cheaper, but I don't know if a 1600 SAT score + decent GPA was enough to get you a decent ride.
  • TollerToller Posts: 13Registered User New Member
    I got into Princeton in 1971 with 1500 SATs, mediocre grades and no ECs. Apparently my chief virtue was the highest NMSQT in the state; at least that's what my GC told me.

    Yeah, the requirements were rather different then; they were looking for the smartest applicants (and those from the best families, which wasn't me).

    Financial aid was much more limited then. A needy applicant got loans and jobs, but significant scholarships were rare.
  • bobtheboybobtheboy Posts: 2,216Registered User Senior Member
    ^Your other posts seem to indicate that you are applying to college this year or next.
  • legendofmaxlegendofmax Posts: 4,732Registered User Senior Member
    How did affordability differ between elite schools and schools of different tiers?

    EDIT: Yeah, what gives, Toller? You're still in HS, according to your history.
  • redeye41redeye41 Posts: 275Registered User Junior Member
    My brother got a 1600, had a B- average at best, and got almost a full ride to Duke - 1981.
  • redeye41redeye41 Posts: 275Registered User Junior Member
    ^^^^^

    Brothers only EC's were Football, Basketball and Baseball which he did not play in college.
  • GhosttGhostt Posts: 1,576Registered User Senior Member
    In those years, grades and SAT scores good enough could get you into college. My uncle got into college because he got a 1600 on his SAT, his GPA was around 3.75 and he didn't really do anything outside of school except build models (of cars, planes, and ships, etc.) and Boy Scouts (although he became Eagle after being accepted to college). SAT was huge in those days.

    Heh. A perfect score on the SAT + 3.75 GPA + being seriously involved in the Boy Scouts + building models is a very good starting point even today; depending on how persuasive a writer you are, you might go quite far with this profile :)
  • bobtheboybobtheboy Posts: 2,216Registered User Senior Member
    Heh. A perfect score on the SAT + 3.75 GPA + being seriously involved in the Boy Scouts + building models is a very good starting point even today; depending on how persuasive a writer you are, you might go quite far with this profile

    That's true, and I suppose since Asians weren't so common in colleges affirmative action didn't work against him. However, I don't think his model building was something he shared with colleges. I don't even know how application processes worked then, but I am fairly sure it was a private hobby they didn't know about. Plus, he didn't become an Eagle Scout until they had already made the decisions, so that designation didn't help him. To clarify what I meant by college: all of HYPSM, Dartmouth, and Columbia. He chose Columbia. This was ~1970 or 75 I think.
  • drusbadrusba Posts: 7,872Registered User Senior Member
    Before SAT was recentered in 1994, a perfect 1600 was a rare score, usually only about 7 to 10 a year. Before the mid-1970s it was even rarer because preparing for the SAT was discouraged in most places (CB claimed at the time that studying for the SAT could not improve your score). In the late 60s early 70s, a 1300 or higher SAT gave you a chance at any of the ivies except at Yale before 1969 and Harvard before 1973 if you were female.
  • jtmoneyjtmoney Posts: 283Registered User Junior Member
    I was National Merit Scholar in 1970, college apps were typically much lower key back then, at least for my school. I did get lots of view book type attention, but family (and guidance counselor) being pretty clueless, never really pursued out of state or private. Took the SAT twice only because I had already signed up for December, then found out Nat Merit required earlier testing. Prep for it, are you kidding?? 1400 ish was good enough to make finalist and get my monster $900 scholarship. Don't scoff, full tuition at Washington State, total cost including room and board roughly $1600 that first year. Yes, kids, I didn't leave out a zero. Ironically, I took the December test anyway even though I didn't need it, stayed out until 2 the night before, no pressure, and scored 1500 ish, 790 math. I think I was the only kid in my school to take it twice, it wasn't that big a deal back then. Looking back, I think I probably missed out from inept (nonexistent) counseling, but even with the scholarship the remaining costs were a big stretch for my parents back then.
    Question for someone with a better memory than mine. My memory was I scored a 1507. Did they have odd numbers back then?
  • annasdadannasdad Posts: 4,825Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, they had odd numbers. As I recall, my math was a 603 (why do I remember that after 47 years?) and verbal 20 points or so higher. That was enough to get me into a good LAC, even with so-so grades. The tuition (in 1964) was $1700.
  • sevmomsevmom Posts: 4,350Registered User Senior Member
    legendofmax, Husband was accepted to Yale and Brown in early 70's with 1440 SAT and good grades but attended neither school. No prep which was common. Was a recruited athlete. Had involvement in a couple of clubs at school but nothing major like you're seeing these days. Sons didn't even do much SAT prep (older one did a 3 hour Beat the SAT type thing as a sophomore and that was it and younger son did nothing). They still did fine on their SAT's but of course no 1600! Personally,I think this SAT prep stuff and extreme EC stuff these days has really gotten out of hand.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,818Registered User Senior Member
    drusba wrote:
    Before SAT was recentered in 1994, a perfect 1600 was a rare score, usually only about 7 to 10 a year. Before the mid-1970s it was even rarer because preparing for the SAT was discouraged in most places (CB claimed at the time that studying for the SAT could not improve your score).

    Yes, SAT then meant Scholastic Aptitude Test, implying that it was not something easily studied for. Of course, that didn't prevent high school English teachers from assigning vocabulary words each week to boost their students' chance of a high score on the SAT Verbal (which was then mostly a vocabulary test). Nor did it prevent the forerunners of today's test preparation companies from offering books and classes coaching the SAT, although use of such was much less common than today.

    Regarding financial aid, while there may have been less of it, the full list price of attending college or university was also much lower, even after adjusting for inflation.
  • legendofmaxlegendofmax Posts: 4,732Registered User Senior Member
    What did HYP cost back then?
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