A new working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that it will be hard to attract more low-income students to elite colleges as long as most of those colleges rely on the SAT or ACT. When they use test scores in admissions, colleges admit wealthier students, who tend to do better on the tests. A solution would be to give the low-income students a “bonus” of about 100 points on the SAT. Then, the students would be admitted and the colleges would be less segregated by income, the paper says.
The paper was prepared Raj Chetty of Harvard University; John N. Friedman of Brown University; Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley; Nicholas Turner of the Federal Reserve Board; and Danny Yagan of Berkeley.