Paul L. Caron
Dean


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Test-Only Admissions Would Help White, Affluent Students

Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, SAT-Only Admission: How Would It Change College Campuses?:

WSJA review of SAT and ACT standardized test scores among students in a recent class at the nation’s 200 most selective colleges finds that if all students were admitted solely on the basis of their test scores and no new seats were added, 53 percent of incoming students at the nation’s most selective colleges would no longer be attending. These students had median test scores that were 110 points below the median of all students at selective colleges (1140, compared to 1250). More than half of the students who would be ousted are affluent students—from families in the top quartile of socioeconomic status (SES).

A review of SAT and ACT standardized test scores among students in a recent class at the nation’s 200 most selective colleges finds that if all students were admitted solely on the basis of their test scores and no new seats were added, 53 percent of incoming students at the nation’s most selective colleges would no longer be attending (Figure 1). These students had median test scores that were 110 points below the median of all students at selective colleges (1140, compared to 1250). More than half of the students who would be ousted are affluent students—from families in the top quartile of socioeconomic status (SES).  ...

Currently, enrollment at the nation’s selective colleges is 66 percent White, 19 percent Black and Latino, 11 percent Asian, and 5 percent other races. But if we distribute seats to only students with the highest scores on the SAT and ACT, the White share of enrollment jumps to 75 percent, the Black and Latino share drops to 11 percent, the Asian share falls to 10 percent, and the share of other races and ethnicities remains 5 percent.

The reshuffling of students would end with many more White students in the most selective colleges. Roughly 91,000 White students would have to leave, but they would be replaced by 120,000 new White students with higher test scores. Whites would see a 14 percent net increase in their number of seats, and the median SAT score for White students would increase from 1260 to 1330.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/06/test-only-admissions-would-help-white-affluent-students.html

Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

I don't see any "affluence" variable in the data. Sounds like somebody squeezing in some self-serving communist propaganda. Purge those kulaks, tovarich!

Posted by: tom swift | Jun 25, 2019 2:13:24 PM

Alternate Title: Current Admissions Standards Discriminate Against Higher Performing White Students

Posted by: Richard Wagner | Jun 25, 2019 11:06:45 PM

Not if the test was done fairly

Posted by: Mike Livingston | Jun 26, 2019 4:11:52 AM

Test-only admissions would select for class and race only if higher scores almost completely determine whether someone is likely to get in when they are white or Asian. That's the current policy. That would be less likely if schools would simply set a minimum score that's indicative of being able to succeed at the school and then determined acceptance by a race-blind lottery. Then everyone admitted would be qualified.
It'd also be far more fair to minority students than our current scheme which accepts only top-tier whites and even more top-tier Asian students and then reaches far down in those test scores to admit some approved number of certain minorities. That policy almost guarantees a high failure rate for the latter group.

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Jun 26, 2019 11:02:04 AM

Noticed this post below "Why Can't Everyone Get A's?", which rejects "the false belief that excellence is a zero-sum game. It would be both more sensible and more democratic to rescue the essence of the concept: Everyone may not succeed, but at least in theory all of us could."

Too many colleges' "selectivity" is wasteful, divisive, and - especially when tax funded - downright contemptuous and wrong.

If an 1140 in whatever the SAT measures is enough to learn well at a given school, it should take as many students as this and other legitimate prerequisites, professors' time, and space allow.

Unit costs and debt would plunge, students' and professors' minds (of all colors) would not go to waste, grudges would pass, and with better learning across the board we could all be far more prosperous than ever before.

(And if some "selective" places don't want to play ball...there are a LOT of other good professors and a HUGE internet to leave them in the dust!)

Posted by: Anand Desai | Jun 26, 2019 10:48:21 PM

Given the costs of college and the questionable value of many degree programs (particularly in the liberal arts/humanities), it could be doing minorities a favor.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Jun 27, 2019 4:06:34 AM