What’s going down for the college-bound? If you’re in the high school class of 2015, you’ve ideally written most or all of you your college application essay. If not, what are you waiting for?!
When the lede of a provocative New Republic article asserts, “The Ivy League is broken and only standardized tests can fix it,” I can’t help but read on…
As for Deresiewicz’s pronouncement that “SAT is supposed to measure aptitude, but what it actually measures is parental income, which it tracks quite closely,” this is bad social science. SAT correlates with parental income (more relevantly, socioeconomic status or SES), but that doesn’t mean it measures it; the correlation could simply mean that smarter parents have smarter kids who get higher SAT scores, and that smarter parents have more intellectually demanding and thus higher-paying jobs. Fortunately, SAT doesn’t track SES all that closely (only about 0.25 on a scale from -1 to 1), and this opens the statistical door to see what it really does measure. The answer is: aptitude.
…Paul Sackett and his collaborators have shown that SAT scores predict future university grades, holding all else constant, whereas parental SES does not. Matt McGue has shown, moreover, that adolescents’ test scores track the SES only of their biological parents, not (for adopted kids) of their adoptive parents, suggesting that the tracking reflects shared genes, not economic privilege.
College Confidential is hosting an interesting forum discussion about Choosing Full Ride Vs. Selective College?
We wrote recently about which colleges have the highest SAT averages among incoming freshmen. Of course, you can look at colleges according to all kinds of rankings. However, while you should definitely review The Onion’s 2014 University Rankings, you definitely shouldn’t base your application decisions on them!