SAT “Adversity Score” being Removed due to Backlash

In May, the College Board announced its new “adversity score” which would measure a student’s economic hardship.

What We Know:

  • The score was used to asses a person’s neighboorhood based on factors such as the portion of students receiving free or reduced lunch, advanced course offerings, and the level of crime. It was a pilot program used by 50 institutions.
  • After the past college admissions scandals, the concern of accessibility to all students being admitted to college regardless of wealth is at an all-time high. 
  • The scores received a lot of pushback because parents and professors did not understand how you could measure adversity using a number. Many also believed that these scores would directly effect SAT scores. They also expressed concerns about the information gathered not being available to students as well as their parents. 
  • In an interview with the National Public Radio, David Coleman, College Board CEO stated that “the first move was to admit that summing it up in a single score was a mistake, so we’ve stopped that.” He also mentions that “the idea of a single score was confusing because it seemed that all of a sudden the College Board was trying to score adversity. That’s not the College Board’s mission. The College Board scores achievement, not adversity.”
  • In place of the “adversity score,” the college board has established a new tool called “Landscape” which will use some of the same data, including government information, to evaluate factors that affect a student’s education. 
  • Coleman also stated that “within a year, we’ll be able for every family and student, on their College Board account, to show them their neighborhood and school information transparently.”

Up to 150 schools will be using this new tool before it is executed nationwide. The college board hopes that admissions will use this tool in a positive matter without judgment of the applicants