Fighting Income Segregation in Higher Education

Why not give extra points on the SAT?

February 18, 2020

A new working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that it will be hard to attract more low-income students to elite colleges as long as most of those colleges rely on the SAT or ACT. When they use test scores in admissions, colleges admit wealthier students, who tend to do better on the tests. A solution would be to give the low-income students a "bonus" of about 100 points on the SAT. Then, the students would be admitted and the colleges would be less segregated by income, the paper says.

The paper was prepared Raj Chetty of Harvard University; John N. Friedman of Brown University; Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley; Nicholas Turner of the Federal Reserve Board; and Danny Yagan of Berkeley.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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