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ERIC Number: EJ1043422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-17
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1938-5978
A Better SAT Starts with a Better College Board
Katzman, John
New England Journal of Higher Education, Apr 2014
It is so easy to criticize the SAT that most observers overlook the weaknesses of its architect, the College Board. This author contents that, until the latter is replaced, however, the former will never be fixed. The College Board has every incentive to create a complex, stressful, expensive college admissions system. Because it is accountable to no one, it has done just that. The College Board and ACT add over $500 million a year to the cost of applying to college. They generate $100 million in profits annually. Since the utility of the tests is largely limited to the 800,000 high-achieving students headed to selective schools, these organizations are costing each one of those students a $1,200 fee--and that is before the additional expense of test prep. Imagine an organization responsible for devising and maintaining a meaningful admissions ecosystem, which would be evaluated annually by its ability to improve the fit between students and schools (as measured by high graduation and low transfer rates) while lowering the cost and stress of the admissions process. This new organization would neither administer tests nor profit from them; it would simply be a coordinating body funded by participating schools. Unlike many SAT detractors, this author is not against tests. Common metrics help avoid other problems (for example, when New York dropped the SAT as part of its Regents Scholarship competition, it saw immediate and large-scale grade manipulation).
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress; Program for International Student Assessment; SAT (College Admission Test)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A