Anyone who has taken the SAT knows the test provides separate scores on the math and verbal sections. But starting this fall, the Wall Street Journal reports that more test-takers will get a third score—for "adversity." The adversity score does not account for race, but it uses 15 other factors such as poverty and crime rates from the student's neighborhood. One thing of note: The scores will be reported to colleges, not to the students themselves, notes the New York Times. Fifty colleges tested the program last year, and it will be expanded to 150 this year before an even wider rollout in 2020.
The idea is to counter criticism that students from wealthier districts get an unfair advantage when taking the test. Generally speaking, students from higher-income families get higher SAT scores, as do white and Asian students when compared to black and Hispanic students, per the Times. “We can’t sit on our hands and ignore the disparities of wealth reflected in the SAT," David Coleman, chief executive of the College Board, tells the Journal. A criticism? A college-guidance counselor at an affluent high school near Chicago says it will worsen reverse discrimination. "Do I feel minority students have been discriminated against? Yes, I do. But I see the reversal of it happening right now.” (Read more SAT stories.)