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College Board Confirms Expansion Of Scoring System That Attempts To Measure Adversity

This article is more than 4 years old.

Officials with the College Board, the nonprofit organization that administers the SAT, plan to expand a system aimed at measuring a student's economic, geographic and social challenges.

The College Board has been piloting the new measurement — known as the Environmental Context Dashboard — at 50 colleges and universities. The tool, as the Wall Street Journal first reported, will be more broadly available to colleges for free next fall.

The College board did not release the full list of schools participating in the pilot, but the College Board reported that it included Yale University, the University of Texas at Austin and Trinity College.

Example of the Environmental Context Dashboard (courtesy of the College Board)
Example of the Environmental Context Dashboard (courtesy of the College Board)

The score is based on a scale of 0 to 100. Anything above 50 indicates a "disadvantage." The College Board did not release the details of exactly how it calculates the figure but, in an email, explained it can offer colleges and universities "contextual information" on things like the average SAT performance at a student's high school, AP performance, percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunches, crime and housing stability rates in the student's neighborhood and familial structure.

The College Board did not make anyone available for an interview Thursday. But in a written statement, the organization's CEO, David Coleman, said: "We are proud that results from our pilot of the tool show that using the Environment Context Dashboard makes it more likely that students who demonstrate strength and resourcefulness in overcoming challenges are more likely to be admitted to college."

WBUR reached out to six area colleges to ask if they planned to use it in admissions, but did not receive a response.

Carrie Jung Senior Reporter, Education
Carrie is a senior education reporter.



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