We are ahead of the curve

At the SHC we are not (and have not for 8 years at least) using SAT scores for the purposes of admissions. Now the Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting on additional studies that say what other studies have noted long ago. Pursuit of high SAT scores in students will reduce diversity and will not fundamentally enhance the quality of students enrolled. More importantly, there are other, better ways to promote diversity than simply considering their ethnicity and race.

Researchers Accuse Selective Colleges of Giving Admissions Tests Too Much Weight – Chronicle.com

The reports’ authors argue that selective colleges do not necessarily have to consider applicants’ ethnicity and race to promote diversity. Rather, colleges could increase their enrollments of minority and low-income students simply by giving more weight to admissions criteria other than standardized-test scores.

I found this quote particularly interesting:

The researchers concluded that selective colleges created their own need to use race-conscious admissions policies to promote diversity by placing so much emphasis on standardized tests. “The apparent tension between merit and diversity exists only where merit is narrowly defined by test scores,” they argue.

We have certainly found this to be true in the two years that I have been dean. We are keeping a close eye on admissions figures and will do more data collecting this summer.

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