The College Admissions Landscape Has Changed Again – Adversity Score

The College Admissions Landscape Has Changed Again – Adversity Score


By Admissions Expert, Dr. Paul Lowe

The College Board, the New York based nonprofit that oversees the SAT, plans to assign an adversity score to every student who takes the SAT to try to capture their social and economic backgrounds. This fall, 100 colleges and universities will join the 50 colleges (which include Harvard, Yale, Cornell and University of Michigan) already utilizing this new metric designed to place students’ SAT scores in the context of their socioeconomic advantages or disadvantages.

This adversity score is calculated using 15 environmental factors that influence a student’s home and school life – including the neighborhood’s crime rate and poverty levels, the community’s average educational attainment, housing values, and vacancies. While students won’t see, know or be told their scores, colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.

What does this mean for rising seniors? The college admissions landscape has dramatically changed – again! Colleges will have an objective tool that will not just consider a student’s race, but their socio-economic class in making admissions decisions. To be clear, colleges and universities have considered socioeconomic factors previously; but the pilot study of this method using the adversity score has accelerated the inclusion of lower income and minority students. Admissions will be even more competitive!


“Admissions is a competitive sport!  Why gamble with uncertainty?” – Dr. Paul Lowe

Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Greenwich Admissions Advisors. Tel. (203) 542-7288, and founder affiliates – Ivy League Admissions Advisors and Private School Admissions Advisors of the Pinnacle Educational Center Admissions Advisors Group network.

Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive concierge-type admissions advisory services for families and students who are interested in applying to top private schools, Ivy League and highly selective colleges and combined BS/MD programs. Dr. Lowe also helps students gain admissions into their top choice private schools and colleges after they have been wait-listed or rejected. Dr. Lowe and his Greenwich Admissions Advisors team provide house-calls for families with extremely busy schedules who can’t come to their office.