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Adversity and College

school desks

The SAT College Board has added a new section to the standardized test called 'adversity.'

This section is scored based on the students socioeconomic rank , such as home life, neighborhood crime rates, poverty levels, housing, and other factors determine their disadvantage level.

If a student scores a 50 or above, it means they have had to deal with more obstacles in life in order to get an education. If a student scores a 50 or below, it means the student has used their advantage to the best of their ability. 

Today on All Sides, how disadvantaged college students make the grade and manage higher education in light of the SAT use of so-called adversity scores. 


  • Adam Harris, staff writer for The Atlantic
  • Neil Anthony Lewis Jr., Assistant Professors of Communication and Social Behavior at Cornell University, Lead Researcher of Preparing Disadvantaged Students for Success in College: Lessons Learned From the Preparation Initiative
  • Scott Koebel, Ohio School Counselor Association Board Secretary, Newark High School school counselor 
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