Sep 27, 2009

SAT Score Choice™ and The New York Times

After nearly a week “moderating” my response to Bill McClintick’s statement concerning SAT Score Choice™, The New York Times finally printed my comments:

The issue of Score Choice became enormously complicated when a handful of colleges and universities elected to deny students the option of participating in the program for various reasons some of which suggested by Bill McClintick's response. Georgetown, Penn, the University of Washington, Pomona, Rice, Stanford, and Yale—to name a few—are requiring submission of all SAT scores with slight variations on the theme involving SAT Subject Tests. Note that not all of these schools use the Common App.

Certainly it would be easier to ignore the “self report” questions on any application, but why would a college or university ask if they didn’t want the information? In the provision of test scores, whether through self-reporting or by official score reports generated by the College Board, it is important that the student adheres to stated school policies. Unfortunately, these are not always clear on school websites or in College Board school profiles (which naturally make no mention of the ACT).

Moral and ethical issues abound here as applicants decide which scores to report. In my research on the implementation of the SAT Score Choice program, I contacted many colleges and universities and came to the conclusion that not all of them fully understand the change in reporting procedures. In the meantime, applicants are struggling to fulfill requirements that are not clearly stated while schools seem to believe that if they haven’t changed policies, it’s business as usual.

I am glad this issue is finally getting some attention. Perhaps NACAC can encourage colleges and universities to make a better effort at simplifying a process that has become way too complicated.

Nancy Griesemer

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