College Board Introduces “Adversity Scores”

Aalyna Silva, Page Editor

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In an effort to fairly reflect socioeconomic disadvantages, the College Board has newly implemented an “adversity score” designed to weigh students’ privilege premised on more than pure academic standing. After a near four-year-long experimentation period, the College Board has finally emerged with fifteen of what they perceive to be the most influential non-academic components, including students’ high schools, neighborhood crime rates, incomes, and single-parent statistics, reported The Wall Street Journal this past Thursday.

Unrelated to, but highly reflective of, the new “adversity score” raises racial-overlap awareness in many of these categories as the new score was pioneered on disbanding segregation kids faced based on infringing factors out of their hands. Already, surfaced by beta testing at Florida State University (FSU), 1 of 50 schools chosen to test run the new system, harboring roughly 32,500 undergraduates, the score’s validation raised nonwhite enrollment by 5 percent this past year — nearly 1,625 students facing hardships priorly unaccounted for or unseen — according to FSU campus administrator John Barnhill, as reported by The Federalist. The College Board further shared with The Wall Street Journal colleges’ fears of The Supreme Court’s probable banning of race-related affirmative action in admissions decisions in discord with constitutionality, if acceptance rates were skewed as to be leveled out — wherein, the tool’s power would only be substantiated as it stands on not a single pillar of race, but rather brings to light underlying, overlapping disadvantages between socioeconomic struggle and race; former College Board member, now director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, Anthony Carnevale stated, “The purpose [of the “adversity score”] is to get race without using race.”           

The new “adversity score” scales from 1 to 100 — 1 being the most socioeconomically challenged, 100 being that of the most supplemented — and shines separately from the SAT score itself.”

— Aalyna Silva

Guarded from students and families, exclusively garnered by colleges and the College Board, the new “adversity score” scales from 1 to 100 — 1 being the most socioeconomically challenged, 100 being that of the most supplemented — and shines separately from the SAT score itself. Undefined yet, however, is whether or not the College Board plans to subsequently co-release an adjusted SAT score. As for those hoping to evade the score’s labeling, the playing field has already been monopolized: Colleges may enter students’ ACT scores into the CBdashboard revealing their “adversity score” based on the fifteen elected demographics.

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