College Board decides not to implement adversity scores

After much controversy about the adversity scores that were announced last school year, the College Board has decided to get rid of the plan.


Justine Nguyen ('20) reads a prep book for the SAT.

Madeleine Katz, Online Editor in Chief

After receiving backlash for the new adversity score SAT tool for colleges, the College Board decided to get rid of the program before it had the chance to be put into effect. 

During an interview with AP News, David Coleman, the chief executive of the College Board said, “The idea of a single score was wrong. It was confusing and created the misperception that the indicators are specific to an individual student.” 

Instead of reporting a number score that supposedly measures a student’s neighborhood environment, family environment, and high school environment, the College Board will now be reporting similar information without a numeric score. The tool has been renamed “Landscape” and will be implemented starting this year at about 100-150 colleges, as reported by AP News.

Despite the original decision to only allow access of environment based scores to college admission officers and not to students, the College Board has decided to start allowing students access. 

Many students are relieved that the adversity score will not be put into effect. 

Justine Nguyen (‘20) thinks that “this will be good because it eliminates the stigma that those facing adversity will automatically do worse. While this may be true in some cases, it will not always be true. People who do face ‘less’ adversity may still do worse, while people facing ‘more’ adversity may do better. The adversity score may have been passed at first so that the College Board could ‘even out the playing field,’ but it was not a good way to go about it because it benefited a select portion of individuals that did not necessarily need the boost.”

Students can now expect to have information such as senior class size, demographics on where they live, the rate of students on reduced and free lunch at their school, and the rate of students in advanced courses at their school sent to select colleges through Landscape.