Assessing the SAT

Assessing the SAT

Parents encourage their children to be themselves and do what's best for them, regardless of what their children's friends do, leading to the familiar rhetorical question: "If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you?" For years, Colby has been one of the selective liberal arts colleges in the Northeast to require SAT reasoning test scores. As some others have dropped the requirement, Colby has stood atop the bridge, looking down, contemplating the pros and cons. Now, even as the new SAT has been rolled out, Colby continues to assess the test's importance in the admissions process.

By Ruth Jacobs


 
Parents encourage their children to be themselves and do what's best for them, regardless of what their children's friends do, leading to the familiar rhetorical question: "If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you?— For years, Colby has been one of the selective liberal arts colleges in the Northeast to require SAT reasoning test scores. As some others have dropped the requirement, Colby has stood atop the bridge, looking down, contemplating the pros and cons. Now, even as the new SAT has been rolled out, Colby continues to assess the test's importance in the admissions process.

The general consensus is that the new SAT improves on the old mainly because it provides more information to admissions offices. However, colleges have not stopped wondering if the SAT is useful enough to make up for its drawbacks. Colby is no exception.

Colby has held onto its SAT I (reasoning) requirement while some peer schools—Bates, Bowdoin, and Middlebury—have made it optional and others—Williams, Wesleyan, and Amherst—have not. The Colby administration is not currently considering removing the SAT requirement, but, according to President William Adams, the question of whether it's the best thing for Colby is always in the air, if not on the table. "It's certainly constantly in my mind,— he said.

Adams is not the only person who continues to reflect on the SAT. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Parker Beverage, who supports the use of the test, explains his loyalty. "I cannot imagine doing this process with any sense of fairness and good judgment without having those measurements to look toward,— he said.
 
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