The adversity score was a good idea
Even in 2019, people don’t start on equal footing. Although this shouldn’t be the case, growing up, people are going to have advantages or disadvantages depending on their socioeconomic status and their race. Those factors need to be acknowledged so that when it comes to getting into college they aren’t at a disadvantage there as well.
According to College Board, the company that runs the SAT, admission officers lack high school information of about 25% of applications. The adversity score would change that.
The adversity score and index were designed for admission officers to see students’ academic accomplishments in the context of where they live and go to school. It doesn’t provide any personal information about a specific student, only about the environment around them and how their score relate.
Reflected in the adversity index of a school and community are things such as the percentage of students at the school who are eligible for free or reduced lunch, educational status and economic challenges. The SAT has previously has been criticized because wealthier students on average earn higher scores than the middle class who in turn score higher than the lower class. As it is widely regarded intelligence test used for college acceptances, it is the responsibility of College Board to provide economic information of students so that the test isn’t unfair for students of lower classes.
Yes, the entirety of a student’s background cannot be reduced effectively to a single number, however, with nothing like the adversity score present, colleges will still have little to no information about a student’s high school and residence, meaning the uneven playing field will remain uneven for students of low economic status.
With some changes made, the adversity score could be a useful tool for colleges to have and beneficial for disadvantaged students.