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College Admissions

"Take Two! SAT Retaking and College Enrollment Gaps"

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If more students retake the SAT, college enrollment rates would increase—especially for low-income and minority students.

That's the conclusion of a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research that examines data on millions of SAT-takers from the College Board. The paper finds that retaking the SAT increases the probability that a student will enroll in a four-year college by 13 percentage points. Those students would have otherwise either gone to two-year colleges or not enrolled in higher education institutions at all.

For low-income students, retaking the exam increases the likelihood of four-year college enrollment by 30 percentage points. And for underrepresented minority students, retakes are linked to an increase of 20 percentage points in their four-year college enrollment rate, compared with an 8 percentage point increase for non-minority students. Yet just over half of SAT takers retake the SAT one or more times.

Vol. 38, Issue 03, Pages 4-5

Published in Print: September 5, 2018, as College Admissions
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