Oct 23, 2009

SAT Score Choice™ Update

Over the past several weeks, an increasing number of colleges and universities added explanations of their SAT Score Choice policies to their websites. Short of providing all scores to all schools, it still remains a student's responsibility to make certain they are complying with these policies. Although improving, the information on the College Board website remains incomplete and students must fall back on whatever is provided by colleges. To be able to find score use policies by using the search function located front and center on the school homepage is a joy. Thank you to all the colleges and universities that took this recommendation to heart.

Vanderbilt University
In addition to a very clear explanation of school policy with regard to SAT Score Choice, Vanderbilt University provides an interesting poll on their website asking students to respond to a single question concerning the new program:

Will a college’s SAT score use policy (i.e., a college’s stance on SAT Score Choice) weigh into your decision to apply to that college?

○ Yes
○ No
○ Don’t know yet

Based on this somewhat unscientific survey, it appears that students are equally divided as to how they feel about differences in score reporting policies (click "view results"). It's certainly possible that students will take into consideration or at least notice a college’s stand on SAT Score Choice before applying. You might want to take the time to check out the Vanderbilt survey, and if you’re a student in the process of applying to college, voice your opinion.

Yale University
Going back to the issue of how to complete the Common Application so as to satisfy individual Score Choice policies, Yale University recently updated its website to include instructions on how to submit multiple versions of the Common App form:

“The online Common Application allows students to create an initial Common Application and then, after it has been submitted, to replicate that version, make changes to it, and save the new copy under a different name. You are allowed to make up to ten different versions (although we hope you don’t need to do that!). To accommodate different test reporting requirements you could create one application named ‘Score Choice’, in which you list your Score Choice colleges on the ‘My Colleges’ page. Then you could create another version as needed for colleges with requirements similar to Yale’s, listing those colleges on a separate ‘My Colleges’ page. (The system allows you to list a particular college on only one application ‘version’.) There are instructions for creating more than one application version in the Common Application Instructions section called ‘Application Versions’.”

Whether or not you agree with Yale’s stand in opposition to Score Choice, the information provided on the University website is second to none. Students are welcome to follow the original advice suggested by the Common App Support Center (repeated by the New York Times and Inside Higher Ed) and leave score information blank. But if this doesn’t work for some applicants, Yale’s solution is a good one.

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