College Board to Consider Sharing ‘Adversity Score’ With Pupils

(Bloomberg) -- The College Board, which is rolling out a measure of the socio-economic background of students who take the SAT, will consider disclosing that information to families.

“It may be a good idea” to share the so-called adversity score with students and parents, David Coleman, chief executive of the College Board, which administers the SAT exam, told Bloomberg Radio Friday.

But he added the score is about the schools and neighborhoods that the families are already familiar with, not about individual students. “It’s not really informative to them,” he said.

The College Board said earlier this week that it has begun assessing students on their educational and socioeconomic backgrounds, using 15 factors to create a score. The factors range from the crime rate and average income in students’ neighborhoods to achievement data at their high schools.

The College Board reportedly wasn’t planning on releasing the score, which can impact a student’s chance of getting into a university.

The score, which is meant to show hardships students face in pursuit of academic achievement, comes amid controversy over admissions to elite universities. Students from more wealthy families have long held an advantage in admissions by attending better high schools and taking expensive SAT test prep classes.

Earlier this year, prosecutors revealed a scandal in which rich families allegedly paid $25 million in bribes to coaches and administrators to get their teenagers into top colleges, including Yale and Stanford.

The adversity score gives colleges more contextual data in evaluating students and their SAT scores, Coleman said Friday. For instance, students with a relatively low SAT score may be given more consideration if they faced greater adversity in school.

Students will receive a score of between one and 100, with 50 as the average: the higher the score, the more disadvantage a student faces, according to media reports. Students at the same school will get the same score.

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