Score One For Yale

Yale made a sound decision yesterday. It said applicants must report all SAT scores, not just the highest of the three or four that some would-be Yalies take. That was the long-term policy of the College Board until last June, when Board officials announced they would let test-takers decide which scores to report. The stated reason was to reduce stress: if the student wasn’t up to par on testing day, he or she could always get tested again. But the policy also masked a financial reality—students from wealthier families could keep taking the test until they got the result they wanted; students from less well-off families often couldn’t. The predictive value of the test is marred by re-testing. And some who criticized the June decision pointed out that the Board had a financial stake: it stood to make more money by allowing unreported extra tests. Yale got it right. The class advantage of repeat test-takers will continue, but the fact of that advantage will now be clear and taken into account.

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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