UD Will Not Use College Board’s ‘Adversity Score’ – For Now

Sean Newhouse 
Online Editor

Update: 6/24 – UD did have access to a pilot program of the Environmental Context Dashboard, unofficially called the “adversity score,” for the past two years. However, the university said admission counselors did not use the score for any applicant’s admission decision. 

Beginning in 2020, all U.S. colleges and universities will have access to the College Board’s adversity score – a numerical value designed to express the socioeconomic background of students applying to college.

Officially called the Environmental Context Dashboard, the score relies on data not about the specific applicant but about his or her environment. For example, some data included in the score is the proportion of students at the applicant’s school who are eligible for free or reduced lunch and the percentage of students from that school who go to college. Race is not a factor in the score.

Its purpose is to put SAT and AP test scores, which are run by the College Board, into greater context. Students will not be able to view their score.

UD’s vice president for strategic enrollment management, Jason Reinoehl, told Flyer News in a statement that the university will not be using the score because it is still in its pilot phase.

“Given the Dashboard is still being developed in a pilot phase, the University has no plans to use it in its admission processes at this time,” Reinoehl said.

But Reinoehl also said UD will continue to monitor developments in research on the Dashboard.

“As the pilot is expanded and greater research is completed, the university will continue to monitor and review related research and its relevance,” Reinoehl said.

An SAT, or ACT, score is required to apply to UD.

The College Board said its Environmental Context Dashboard will provide more information to admission counselors.

“This is a tool designed for admission officers to view a student’s academic accomplishment in the context of where they live and learn,” said a College Board spokeswoman.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, criticized the policy because students would not be able to view, and thus challenge, their score.

Yale University, which is embroiled in the college admissions scandal, has used a preliminary version of the dashboard for two years.

UD also had access to the pilot version of the dashboard. More information about the university’s experience with it will be available next week. Flyer News will be doing a follow-up article when this information is released.

Image courtesy of Flickr