U Illinois leads the pack in SAT 'adversity score' adoption

The University of Illinois has already agreed to use at least one part of the SAT's new "adversity score."

One UIllinois student is not pleased....

The University of Illinois will use a portion of the new College Board “adversity score” to make some admission decisions.

According to the Daily Illini, the school will use part of the “adversity score,” better known as the Environmental Context Dashboard (ECD), to better establish which high schools have fewer resources and will actively use that for admission decisions.

The university is in the “analysis phase” of reviewing the entire ECD, UIllinois Director of Undergraduate Admissions Andy Borst told the newspaper.

“If the student comes from a high crime rate area and they’re coming to Champaign-Urbana, there may be a cultural adjustment that comes with that that we haven’t addressed before,” Borst told the Daily Illini. “If we have addressed [cultural adjustment], we haven’t addressed it in a targeted way to that population because we’ve never been able to define that number on a broad sense before.”

Borst did acknowledge that the rollout of the “adversity score” was not very successful and gained a lot of criticism, but noted that a lot of research has gone into the program.

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University of Illinois student Blair Nelson commented on the incident to Campus Reform.

“I think it takes away from the accomplishments of the students,” Nelson, who is also a Campus Reform correspondent, said. “The adversity score takes away the value of accomplishments from certain students because they did not grow up in an ‘adverse’ environment.”

Nelson also pointed out how the score may not accurately capture what a student has experienced and “would be subject to the bias of the College Board.”                                                    

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new score would try to get more information about a student’s social and economic situation.

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The score will be determined by 15 factors like poverty and crime rate and housing values from the student’s neighborhood. According to the report, only colleges will be able to see the score, and not students.

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