About 3,000 four-year colleges and universities exist in the United States, and the more elite of these institutions of higher education offer degrees that are “golden tickets.” That is, those who earn them have access to the best opportunities in the American workforce.
But who exactly gets the opportunity to earn them? U.S. demographics are changing so rapidly and we should expect the new trends to be reflected in our top tier of universities.
Sadly, this is not the case, Deborah Bial writes for Forbes magazine.
SAT scores still play a big role in who has access to which colleges. Many see a high score as a sign of intelligence. The College Board defends the SAT as a reliable predictor of grade point average and even ability to finish a degree, but it also shows that lower scores do not indicate that students cannot compete.
The Posse Foundation in 2014 studied top-ranked schools to project how many black and Latino students they would need to admit each year to mirror the U.S. population. The top 150 liberal-arts colleges and research universities would need about 50,000 black students and 58,000 Latino students to do this. The same year, the College Board reported that 9,700 Black students and 22,000 Hispanic students scored 1200 or more on the math and reading sections of the SAT.
Therefore if top institutions continue to rely on the SAT, representational diversity will never be a possibility.
Bial opines that the system still promotes too much stratification and exclusion of certain groups, and urges action so that discontent and divisions do not continue at the current rate. To read her entire article, go here.
Beth Doyle is Interim VP, LearningCounts, for CAEL.