College Board drops so-called 'adversity score' for SAT takers

Daniel Uria

Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The group that administers the SAT announced Tuesday it will abandon its plan to assign students an adversity score to provide college admissions officers with information about their social and economic backgrounds.

The College Board, the New York-based non-profit that oversees the college admissions test, said it made the decision to drop the score from its Environmental Context Dashboard and replace it with a tool called Landscape.


Landscape will provide college admissions officials with information about a student's background including average neighborhood income and crime rates, but will not attach a score to those data points.

College Board CEO David Coleman said the changes were made based on feedback from educators and families in the months since the adversity score was announced.

"We listened to thoughtful criticism and made Landscape better and more transparent," he said. "Landscape provides admissions officers more consistent background information so they can fairly consider every student, no matter where they live and learn."

The College Board also clarified that Landscape does not replace individual information included in a student's application, such as their GPA, personal essay or high school transcripts, nor does it alter their SAT score in any way.

The originally proposed plan would have compiled a score using 15 factors including crime rate and poverty levels from a student's high school neighborhood.

Fifty colleges, including Yale University, initially tested using the program in their admissions process and College Board planned to expand to 150 schools this fall, before using it more broadly in 2020.

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