Survey Shows How Admission Officers Felt About Now-Scrapped SAT Adversity Scores

A recent survey shows how admissions officers felt about the College Board’s attempt to institute Adversity Scores.

While I agree with CB’s decision on the changes, I’m not sure that a survey showing 38% supporting and 6% opposing (with 56% don’t know) means AO’s felt the same.

(Frankly, AO’s that I’ve spoken with say they have all this data already, so it didn’t add anything, and boiling it down to a single number was meaningless).

The test needs to remain objective.
Admissions already has subjective criteria with “holistic admissions”.

Exactly. The survey itself is almost meaningless, as the Adversity/Landscape score only matters for holistic admissions. And, since the vast majority of colleges are admission-by-numbers (GPA+test scores), the only survey that might matter is of those AdComs that use holistic admissions - a narrow subset of the total.

And I agree with Rich in that the holistic colleges for the most part already know which high schools are well endowed and those that don’t have money for books. (Or, at least its the job of the Regional Rep to know.)

While I agree that the adversity score was a non-starter, it is a fiction to view the test as “objective.” It is and always has had built-in biases which favored students coming from more educationally privileged backgrounds, and that is magnified by the ability to study for and retake the exam. How can one look at a score of, say 1300, from one student who is the offspring of college educated parents, has had extensive prep, attends an elite private school, and is sitting the test for the third time vs. the offspring of non-English speaking immigrants who attended a poorly funded public school, and is taking the exam for the first time with minimal prep? The number at the end is the same – but the testing protocols allow so much manipulation that comparing one to another is anything but objective, at least not on a narrow scale.

But I do agree that it can’t be quantified and that generalities such as the type of school or family income bracket don’t provide enough information to transfer down to the individual level. So just as the test itself is hardly “objective” – there’s certainly is no way to objectify the qualitative factors within a scoring system. And the CB approach (either with the first or current proposal) doesn’t seem to provide a way to distinguish among individuals Just because a kid is attending a low SES high school doesn’t mean that particular kid is disadvantaged – and the reverse is true as well.

Well, I’d argue that the one kid is much better prepared for college. Life is not always fair. Many Americans did not go to college first, second or even third generation. They worked hard, and worked their way up to be able to afford college, and be prepared for college.
Also, the best SAT prep out there is free: Khan Academy.