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Scoring on the SAT used to be fairly simple. Students can earn up to 1600 points with an 800 on the Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections. Yet with several universities facing lawsuits over affirmative action, the College Board has rolled out a new adversity score program.

New Admissions Tool

What's Your Score?Officially called the Environmental Context Dashboard, the score is calculated with 15 factors that address a student’s home life, community and school system. It takes into account a variety of influences, including:

  • The student’s local crime rate
  • Poverty rate
  • Whether the student has a single parent
  • Median income
  • Availability of Advanced Placement classes

Combined, the score adds up to an overall disadvantage level out of 100, that only universities will be able to view in a special tool that supplements the exam.

Last year, 50 schools ranging from Ivy League to public universities tested out the program in its admissions process. This year, the program will expand to 150 schools and is expected to be used even more broadly the following year.

After its initial test, the College Board reported disadvantaged students were more likely to be admitted through the use of the new system.

Reactions to the Score

However, the ACT says it is not realistic to distill adversity to a single number that can add value to the review of applications. Some skeptics predict parents will seek to manipulate numbers to help their children get into college, such as faking their home address.

The new scoring system comes at a difficult time for colleges facing questions over the roles of race and wealth in admissions. For instance, Harvard University has been accused of discrimination against Asian Americans and federal investigators have uncovered a bribery scandal that compromised the admissions process at several prominent universities.

Many universities find the new data useful to better understand a candidate’s background. On the other hand, some critics feel the adversity rating has good intentions but could be susceptible to manipulation.
Ivy Bound Test Prep continues to help students be successful on the SAT, despite its many changes in recent years. To get ahead on summer test prep, contact us today!