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"The Maine Question: How Is Four-Year College Enrollment Affected by Mandatory College Entrance Exams?"

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A new study suggests that statewide administration of the SAT can lead to higher college-going rates, particularly among students who would not otherwise have taken the college-entrance exam.

The study in the March issue of the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis examines high school students in Maine who were set to graduate between 2004 and 2008. Researchers found that, overall, mandating the sat for all students increased rates of enrollment in four-year colleges by 2 to 3 percentage points overall, and by 10 percentage points for students who would not otherwise have taken it.

Michael Hurwitz, the lead author of the paper and an associate policy researcher with the College Board, the sponsor of the sat, said the increase was large, given that half of Maine public high school seniors typically enroll in college.

Maine was the first state to require statewide school-day administration of the sat, beginning in the spring of 2007, and to make the test the state's accountability assessment. This year, the sat will be optional, although the state will still pay for it, and students will be required to take the Smarter Balanced assessment aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Vol. 34, Issue 21, Page 5

Published in Print: February 18, 2015, as College-Going
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