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New College Board tool helps admissions officers

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2596 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
"Yale was one of about 15 schools over the past year that participated in the pilot run of 'Environmental Dashboard,' a new tool from The College Board that allows admissions officers to get more context for each application they read.

The dashboard shows three main data points for all domestic applicants, according to Connie Betterton, The College Board’s vice president for higher education access and strategy. Two 'measures of disadvantage' are displayed — for the student’s neighbourhood and high school, respectively. The dashboard also shows the student’s standardized test scores in the context of their schools rather than giving national percentiles." ...

https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2018/09/21/new-college-board-tool-helps-admissions-officers/
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Replies to: New College Board tool helps admissions officers

  • LindagafLindagaf 9367 replies501 threads Senior Member
    Very interesting. I tried to find which colleges will be using this tool for the upcoming cycle, but had no luck. If anyone can find that info, please share. 60 colleges will be using it in this cycle.
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  • bopperbopper 14112 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    @Ap0state would those middle class kids be able to afford Yale anyway?
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  • Ap0stateAp0state 52 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited September 2018
    Yale is up there on giving generous financial aid. I believe Yale student with less than $65k family income pays $0 in tuition. Also, Yale is one of the handful that has no loan financial aid policy. I remember reading somewhere of someone who crunched numbers and found that the out-of-pocket cost would be lower when attending Yale than Penn State, a state school. So, yes, I'd say middle class kids would be able to afford Yale fine.
    edited September 2018
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  • NJWrestlingmomNJWrestlingmom 1264 replies2 threads Senior Member
    Under $65k isn't middle class where I live.
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  • jzducoljzducol 742 replies12 threads Member
    Keep in mind that a family with $165k income pays no tuition at Yale---that is like receiving $51k grant. Only those over $265k income are full pay.
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  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 3975 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Curious how this will work since it was created by CB. What if your student took ACT instead? What if your student sat for the SAT but did not submit those scores since they did better on ACT? If this is not connected with common app info (where the student selects which testing company they are going with), not sure how it will work.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2432 replies34 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2018
    I find this very interesting as well. I share the concerns with @suzyQ7 whether CollegeBoard will show SAT scores of students who did not send those scores to X college on this report. This document says that the SAT scores will be input by school admissions dept (p.4, last bullet point). https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/professionals/data-driven-models-to-understand-environmental-context.pdf

    So, if a college doesn't have SAT scores thru either the student self-reporting scores, or sending scores directly from CollegeBoard, it seems that schools subscribing to this environmental dashboard offering would not see student SAT scores. Still, makes me nervous. Also, CollegeBoard would lose out on revenues if students didn't have to send their scores individually to colleges, and certainly CB is already experiencing revenue declines in this area as many, many schools allow self-reported scores now (and increasing every year), with a paid CollegeBoard score report sent only upon matriculation to a student's chosen college.

    This is a more detailed report on this CollegeBoard offering, http://cerpp.uscrossier.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/5.2-Perfetto-Systematic-ID-of-Disadvantage.pdf

    Perhaps it will help AOs make determinations of students who have experienced hardships, but I expect some colleges will decide which segments they will accept students from, and which they won't. See page 34 of the report. It will be interesting to see how (or if) this product is well received by colleges. It represents another way colleges are using data to make admissions decisions, many of which students (and families) can not control, or even know.
    edited September 2018
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78529 replies695 threads Senior Member
    Under $65k isn't middle class where I live

    $65k is lower than the NJ median household income of $76k, but not so much lower that it is "poor".
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  • knightcubknightcub 176 replies9 threads Junior Member
    A lot of schools do not reveal rankings to colleges and for good reason, why harm half or more of your students. This gives colleges a tool to rank within a school. My initial reaction is that for schools with a student population that is strong, relative to national averages, even at the bottom of a class this could be harmful.
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  • dadof2ddadof2d 212 replies14 threads Junior Member
    My guess is that the tool may be a response to the number colleges that are going test optional. One of the factors sometimes cited in going test optional is the correlation between socioeconomic status and standardized test scores. This tool will allow schools to adjust for socioeconomic status and opportunity, using an “adversity index”. The goal is to not only to help colleges make better admissions decisions, but to keep them using standardized test scores in the admission process.
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  • Ap0stateAp0state 52 replies0 threads Junior Member
    edited September 2018
    The whole move away from test scores just boggles my mind. As a poor kid who couldn't afford to do EC activities, SAT scores and GPA were the only ways I could tangibly show that I was smart and hard working, that I was worthy of higher learning. Today's poor kids don't have to show that they are smart now to get into colleges?
    edited September 2018
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  • melvin123melvin123 1561 replies19 threads Senior Member
    I’m curious how CB will actually implement this. I used to live in a zip code that had both upper middle class and extremely poor. Surely they don’t do a street by street analysis. That same zip code had 3 elementary schools, 1 of which is where the upper middle class kids went. In HS kid’s are separated out by gen ed, honors, AP, and unsurprisingly almost no UMC kids were in gen ed. What index number would a kid who went to the other 2 elementary schools get? And I’m also curious what factors (and the weight) are included in forming high numbers. Going back to that example, most lower income kids come from immigrant families where English is not spoken in the home and many of those parents have the equivalent of a 5th grade education, but there is a strong sense of family and community and the crime rate is low. Compare that to a community near where I live now of equally low SES but high single parent households and parent has a HS degree but community has a high violence rate. What number would be assigned to that situation?

    On the flip side, for schools that say they are need blind, theyll have to get someone to pre-screen apps and only write high numbers on the apps. Otherwise it’s hard to unsee the low number (and presumed ability to pay).

    (Hope I got the high/low right).
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  • ninakatarinaninakatarina 1605 replies44 threads Senior Member
    Is there a way to see my kid's school's scores on this, or is that something that you have to pay for the service in order to see? It would be good to see how our local school measures up.
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  • ninakatarinaninakatarina 1605 replies44 threads Senior Member
    I zoomed in as far as I could on the map in the report that @Mwfan1921 linked (thank you so much for those links). Luckily my town is one of the urban areas that's shown in slightly more detail. I suspect that the map the schools are working off of is even more detailed.

    Neighborhoods are color-coded from red to dark green. My local area is a mix of orange, yellow, and very light green with a thin strip of 'rich folks' in a medium darker green. It's not quite street-by-street but it's close. My house appears to be either in the yellow or orange, our school is in the orange but our middle school is in the yellow. Which is somewhat ironic since our middle school has a terrible reputation but our high school is a magnet and somewhat decent if you're in the magnet/advanced program.

    Magnets do distort the effect of base neighborhoods, as do scholarships at fancy private institutions. It looks like they have a bit of a nod to that. The tool dashboard has a neighborhood report and a high school report, so it would catch your full ride kid there, @Center
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  • Ap0stateAp0state 52 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I wonder how they will evaluate a kid from Newark NJ who is at Andover on a full ride? Will the Andover component cancel out the Newark component?

    I'd think it's a double plus. Andover is a plus and being from Newark, NJ would be another plus.
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  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen 1098 replies18 threads Senior Member
    CB can't claim accuracy unless they implement ACT scores too, right now it takes SAT scores.
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  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12977 replies244 threads Senior Member
    HS profile that accompanies transcript usually covers ACT and SAT ranges, demographics of HS community, etc., and admissions has access to that. So I imagine that fills in some holes.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34453 replies381 threads Senior Member
    ^ Yes. I think what's new is the dashboard, the tool. This "environmental info" has been available a long time. Not just from the School Report. You can Google and find various sorts of demographics and assessments. Adcoms have not been guessing. CB probably got the data the same way.
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