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Feeding Frenzy: The SATs, Grade Inflation, and Colorado Students

I attended a counselor briefing organized by the Colorado Council on High School / College Relations. I’m a member, and this annual event is designed to give counselors an update on what’s new at the Colorado colleges and universities.

One little statistic caught my attention. The presenter from the western regional office of the College Board cited these two statistics:

11,000 students took the SAT I Reasoning test in Colorado last year.

58% of them reported that they had an “A” grade point average.

So that means that 6,380 students who took the SATs in Colorado had an A average. So if your child is planning to go to a selective college, he or she had better hope to do well on the SAT, because GPA alone is not going to help him or her stand out in a crowd.

Of course, in Colorado, more students take the ACT than the SAT. In fact, the state mandates (and pays for) every kid to take the ACT.

Still, when you consider how many admission slots are open at the most competitive colleges in the country, and you consider that Colorado is not one of the most populous states in the Union, the competition is going to be pretty stiff.

Either that, or grade inflation truly is rampant, and grades have become meaningless indicators of student achievement. If this is the case, then we might argue that the standardized tests are actually better indicators of student achievement or capability or aptitude than inflated transcripts.

So with the competition so stiff, it makes sense to use every resource available to ensure admission success. That is why 22% of first-year students at private, four-year colleges take advantage of some sort of consulting service during the admission process (according to the Independent Educational Consultants Association–IECA).

Call us now to learn how we can help prepare you for the rigors of the admissions process.

Mark A. Montgomery
Montgomery Educational Consulting

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