Rich teens tout test scores colleges no longer need | Way of life

Wealthy college applicants submit SAT and ACT scores at a higher rate than their low-income peers, even though many colleges — even the most selective ones — have made these tests optional.

Some 53% of students from the wealthiest households submitted this school year, according to data from Common Application, the nonprofit behind the standardized application form. On the other hand, only 39% of the poorest have done so.

Figures disaggregated by socioeconomic status demonstrate “that more work is needed to effectively engage and support students from diverse communities across the country in the college admissions process,” the researchers wrote in a report released this week. last. The report reflects applications for the admissions cycle through January 17.

Yet, as glaring as the differences are, the data shows that overall test submissions among rich and poor are down from the 2019-20 school year – 78% of the wealthiest sent scores during this term, while 71% of the lowest earning students did. The difference between the bidders has increased over two years.

Colleges across the United States have made requiring standardized testing optional in part to level the playing field for low-income students who may not have the same type of access to testing centers during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. The tests have also long been criticized for favoring wealthier students who can afford tutoring.

Applications among first-generation students — those whose parents did not earn a bachelor’s degree — rose 20% from the previous two years. And poorer students accept offers not to send sheet music. Among recipients of fee waivers, an income indicator, 36% who received them sent scores for 2021-22.

The Common Application has seen a dramatic drop in the number of schools requesting SAT or ACT scores this year. Only 5% of the organization’s roughly 850 member schools have requested the scores, down from 55% in 2019.

Although schools have said students don’t need to submit grades, it’s still unclear how test scores are used in admissions decisions and what percentage of admitted students submitted grades, a said Jenny Rickard, executive director of the joint and former application. Head of Admissions at Bryn Mawr College.

Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities, for example, declined to provide data to Bloomberg last week on the number of applicants who entered their current freshman courses or were admitted in the first application round. in December. Last month, Harvard said the tests would be optional for several more years for eighth-graders and they would not be penalized for not submitting them.

Rickard urged schools to publish this data. “University admissions have suffered from a lack of transparency,” she said. “Now is the time for institutions to be transparent. Students are already trying to figure out if they should take the test.

Still, applicants from public or private schools with more resources are likely to continue taking the exams, said Matthew DeGreeff, dean of the college board at Middlesex, a boarding school in Concord, Massachusetts.

“Tests can only help you, they can’t hurt you,” said DeGreeff, a former Harvard admissions officer. “It can position you as a candidate.”

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