The College Board, which owns SAT, is selling students’ names and information to universities, which, in turn, market to students in hopes of raising applicant pools and rejections rates, The Wall Street Journal reports.
High rejection rates make schools appear more elite and exclusive, pushing students to invest more time and money in preparing for and retaking the college entrance exams College Board sells. Colleges say the data helps them reach a diverse pool of students they might have otherwise missed.
“The top 10% of universities don’t need to do this. They are buying some students’ names who don’t have a great chance of getting in,” says Terry Cowdrey, an enrollment consultant for universities and former Vanderbilt University administrator. “Then the kids say, ‘well why did you recruit me if you weren’t going to let me in?’ They do it to increase the number of applications; you’ve got to keep getting your denominator up for your admit rate.”
The race for applicants has stoked the environment of anxious families, who place a high value on getting into elite schools, and helped set the stage for the admissions cheating scandal unveiled in March.
However, the admissions scandal hasn’t put a dent in the SAT’s popularity, which has surpassed the ACT, despite the fact that about a quarter of U.S. colleges have stopped requiring either test for admission. Read the full story.