The University of La Verne’s College of Arts and Sciences has recently recommended that the University create a minimum SAT requirement.
The proposal is for an SAT requirement of 850 with no single score lower than 400. The University currently lacks a minimum requirement.
A minimum SAT requirement for admission is something the University should have, not just to be more selective in the student body, but to protect students as well.
By having no minimum, La Verne is possibly accepting students who may not yet be ready for college life.
Students who might be placed in remedial math and English classes for one to two years before being able to take the classes they actually need to graduate.
During that time many of those students will drop out, leaving college without a degree but with thousands of dollars in debt.
“The United States does a good job enrolling teenagers in college, but only half of students who enroll end up with a bachelor’s degree,” David Leonhardt of the New York Times said in the article “Colleges Are Failing in Graduation Rates.”
The SAT also known as the Scholastic Assessment Test is given to determine a student’s college readiness.
There are three sub scores on the SAT equaling out to a total possible score of 2400.
According to collegeboard.com the middle 50 percent of first-year students at La Verne scored between 430 to 560 in each of the three SAT score categories, while other schools such as the University of Redlands scored between 520 to 630.
Many colleges set certain SAT requirements in order to reflect the college’s standards in terms of workload and courses.
By having no minimum we are not setting a bar or an expectation that students are expected to live up to. By having a minimum we are protecting current students and prospective students.
By having a minimum SAT requirement that does not mean that the University would have to turn students away with 840s or 830s they could still look at applicants packages holistically.
But for those students who are not in the minimum range or are far lower, the University of La Verne may not be the place for them to start their academic pursuits.
It is unethical for any University to accept students into the university knowing they have a very low chance of graduating.
By having an SAT requirement the University would be saving students who are not prepared for college life at a four-year University from debt, which is a more ethical choice.
If student were still deciding if college was for them they could attend a community college and dropout without accumulating a significant amount of debt.
If a student were to attend La Verne and decide that college is not for them they could be from anywhere to $5,000 to $15,000 in debt.
“Since 1970, federal financial aid has soared, growing even as a percentage of tuition fees (which have risen enormously), yet graduation rates have not moved upward despite the effect that grade inflation has had on reducing dropouts,” said Richard Vedder, professor of economics at Ohio University.
If the minimum SAT requirement is implemented, the University should consider raising the minimum to raise La Verne standards and challenge future students.