by Deborah Bial, Ed.D.
Originally published: March 30, 2016
There are close to 3,000 four-year colleges and universities in the United States. A small percentage are considered elite institutions of higher education. Degrees from these particular institutions are golden tickets, giving the recipients special access to the best opportunities in the American workforce.
Who, exactly, gets the opportunity to receive these golden tickets? In a country where the demographics are changing rapidly, we should expect its rich diversity to be reflected in all our educational institutions and certainly at our top colleges. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
SAT scores still play a significant role in determining who has access to these institutions. Many see the SAT as one of the most important parts of a college application and believe (incorrectly) that a higher score is equal to greater intelligence. Many want the SAT to be the determining arbiter of who is admitted. Though the College Board defends the SAT as a good predictor of first year GPA and even persistence in college, its most recent report shows that students with lower scores can and do compete in many instances with the same success as their high–scoring counterparts.