No More Adversity Score


College Board has recently made the call to drop its Adversity Score. 

Adversity scores were originally implemented by College Board with the intention of taking a student’s background and overall adversity faced into account while evaluating their GPA and SAT scores. Ranging from 1-100, adversity scores takes into account many environmental factors such as crime rates, average incomes, and levels of education of residents in neighborhoods. 

In previous years, students were assigned a score to represent all these factors in addition to their standard SAT score, which would be given to college admission officers to aid them when evaluating applications.  The score also accounted for class sizes and the percentages of students receiving aid such as free or reduced meals.  

The College Board decided to remove the program over confusion about how a single score would be able to convey a student’s life experiences and abilities and if the score would affect a student’s original SAT score. There was also criticism due to the fact that the system seemed to favor those in lower income areas, with more points awarded for more adversity faced. 

“I think that was a good choice [to drop the adversity score]. I understand where they were coming from but it was almost like they were trying to simplify things that weren’t really simple. We are not simple; we are complex,” said senior Nina Skyler Dreng Hamrell. 

In a quote published by The New York Times in an article written by Anemona Hartocollis, the chief executive of College Board, David Coleman revealed the reason for the recall. “I think it’s a retreat from the notion that a single score is better. So in that sense, we’ve adopted a humbler position. That’s admitting that the College Board should keep its focus on scoring achievement. We have acknowledged that we have perhaps overstepped,” said Coleman. 

The tool was available on Landscape, a college board provided service, that records a student’s information and provides it to colleges. 

“I think that is important for colleges to understand who the students are that are applying to their college. I think making the application process more personal instead of putting things down to data and numbers would benefit The College Board [more] heavily,” said Health and P.E teacher Misty Keller. 

This information will be made available to students starting in the 2020-2021 school year. News of the implementation of this application was announced in May of this year. College Board is currently in the process of dropping it.