Of late, I have been immersed in college counseling.
I am asked questions related to what is “needed”?
Do my children need to have straight As?
Play an instrument?
Play a sport?
Have a lot of community service?
Need? To gain admission to “college”, no.
But to gain admission to competitive colleges, then some combination of the above or depth in one area will be helpful if not vital.
So it is with test scores. And, here’s where those in our geographic area are often missing the big picture.
To be as direct as possible, test score optionatanl was/is not designed for those from affluent suburbs.
Those from affluent suburbs – and compared to the rest of the county, those from Connecticut’s shoreline and Fairfield County suburbs qualify are automatically part of this group – need to stand out compared to others from less affluent areas who have similar grades and activities.
More blunt talk: if you think your 3.9 GPA will make you stand out from the pack, you are unaware of the rampant grade inflation that has made GPAs become nearly impossible to compare from high school to high school. The student with a 3.9 from Daniel Hand High School is likely a much stronger student than the student with a 3.9 from a less competitive high school but – without SAT scores – college admissions officials do not account for the difference.
Similarly, activities have always been hard to compare. How does one compare the all state trumpet player from Guilford High School to the show choir standout from Daniel Hand in Madison? With the pandemic curtailing so many activities, the ability to stand out as exceptional has similarly been curtailed.
How can your child demonstrate academic excellence in a competitive environment? Submit SAT scores.
While it’s not a subject for another post, follow the money. Good SAT scores will save you thousands of dollars.