Bruno: Actually, SAT Scores *Do* Matter
Are SAT scores useful for predicting who will be successful in college?
As it turns out, however, those headlines - and even the stories themselves - did not always accurately reflect the study they were discussing.
That study is very interesting. Among other things, it finds that at colleges that do not require SAT or ACT scores, students who choose not to submit their scores do about as well as students who do.
A casual reader could be forgiven for interpreting that to mean that SAT scores "don't" or "shouldn't" matter in college admissions.
But that is not what the study found.
For instance, consider this chart from pg. 47 of the study comparing college outcomes at "minority-serving institutions" for students with different high school GPAs and SAT scores:
In other words, regardless of the GPA with which students enter minority-serving colleges, students with higher SAT scores seem to do much better in terms of both college GPA and graduation rates.
The predictive power of the SAT does not seem to be limited to minority-serving institutions, either. As this table from pg. 56 illustrates, SAT scores do seem to be correlated with measures of college success:
So high school GPA and SAT scores together are modestly more predictive of college success than either measure alone.
It is worthwhile to look at how different college admissions policies affect college success rates. And it's interesting to know that, as the study authors put it, "hard work and good grades in high school matter, and they matter a lot."
But while this study gives us reason to revisit standard college admissions criteria, it would be a mistake to leap to the conclusion that SAT scores don't matter for success in college or should never be considered in college admissions. Arguably, portions of this study suggest the opposite. - PB (@MrPABruno)