Bowdoin Says No Need for SAT While Buying College Board Scores

Janet Lorin, Bloomberg, July 19, 2011

Colleges from Bowdoin in Maine to Pitzer in California dropped the SAT entrance exam as a requirement, saying it favors the affluent, penalizes minorities and doesn’t predict academic success. What they don’t advertise is they find future students by buying names of kids who do well on the test.

Pitzer buys as many as 100,000 names a year based on test scores from the College Board, owner of the SAT, to search for applicants, even after the school became “test-optional” in the 2003-2004 year. Wake Forest University, which stopped requiring the SAT or rival ACT test for students entering in 2009, also buys names, as does Bowdoin, which made scores optional in 1969.

Students are being duped by some schools into thinking that test scores don’t matter, when they matter a great deal for marketing outreach and prestige, said Leon Botstein, president of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, which neither requires the tests nor buys names. Test-optional colleges that buy names of high-scoring students are hypocritical, he said.


Pitzer, founded in 1963, buys names of students based on test scores, majors and geography, according to the college. The school doesn’t have the name recognition of some schools and needs to seek out qualified students, said Trombley, who sees no contradiction in buying the names.

“We wanted to welcome more students and not eliminate a pool of students,” she said.


Wake Forest University announced its test-optional policy in 2008. In a letter to faculty and staff at the time, it said that standardized testing continued to be biased against many minority students, “who scored significantly lower than white students.” The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based school held a conference the following year on admissions policy and standardized testing, drawing participants from universities such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

“The SAT is the most rigorously researched and designed test in the world, and is consistently shown to be a fair and valid predictor of college success for all students, regardless of gender, race, or socio-economic status,” said Peter Kauffmann, a spokesman at the New York-based College Board. “The idea that differences in test scores among different groups of students is somehow the result of testing bias is an idea that is largely rejected within mainstream psychology.”



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7 Responses to “Bowdoin Says No Need for SAT While Buying College Board Scores” Subscribe

  1. Question Diversity July 20, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    What they don’t advertise is they find future students by buying names of kids who do well on the test.

    According to Steve Sailer, what they’re also not telling you is that it means the school can report a higher average SAT score of incoming students to the various publications that use that statistic as a metric for their “best colleges” rankings. If you don’t require SATs, it creates bifurcating self-selecting samples, the universe of non-reporters don’t report because their scores are low, and the universe of reporters do because high.

  2. OBSERVER July 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    Let’s play “LIBERAL MIND GAMES”, okay

    (Warning: the following is Sarcasm)

    So, if minorities score lower on a test deemed fair, then let’s list the reasons:

    1) Too many white people in the room.

    2) Most of the proctors where WHITE and that intimidated the Black students.

    3) The test was in English, a known racists language.

    4) Every Black student in the room is a descendant of somebody enslaved in the past.

    5) Descendants of slave owners were in the room.

    6) Lights were on and lighting is white, thus the Black students were intimidated.

    7) The paper used was……..uh…….WHITE.

    8) Blacks know they are going to get lower points anyway, since the test is racists anyway, so why bother when you will get lower scores on a racist test. (Now, THAT is excellent logic)

    9) All tests are racists

    10) There is more pressure on Blacks since tests are a product of white society and white privilege.

    11) Blacks really do not score lower, but rather the machines that SCORE the tests are rigged to give Blacks lower scores….racist machines.

    12) Whites don’t want Blacks to score well

    13) White society, by being white, is naturally racists, thus there is no way a Black student can do well. Whitism is Racism. (now that would make a neat bumpber sticker !!!!

    14) The test, even after ALL THESE years and all the research is still designed to fail Black students. It is a white thing that will never, ever go away and Blacks will suffer forever from that.

    15) Math is racists.

    16) Spelling is racists

    17) Vocabulary is racists

    18) Reading is racists

    19) Requiring thinking is a white racist concept

    and finally

    20) Whites deny Blacks the opportunity to take the tests.

  3. Bernie July 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    Then how come Asians score higher than whites?

    Just an excuse for more anti-white racism.

  4. Anonymoose July 20, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    The redesign of the SAT in the 1990s is the biggest point shaving scandal in college history. The Educational Testing Service’s credit, they were upfront about what they were doing when they changed the name of their test from the Scholastic Aptitude Test to the Scholastic Assessment test.

    Still, the effect was that points were taken away from people from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds and given to people with better actual preparation.

    Makes sense, you might think. Only it doesn’t. The original purpose of the SAT was to measure aptitude, which is something different actual achievement or existing level of preparation. Obviously, there no need to turn the test from an aptitude test to an “assessment” test, because those better prepared already have their preparation reflected in their secondary or preparatory record.

    Maybe the schools are justified in dropping the SAT, since it is not as much a measure of aptitude anymore anyway. MENSA, for example, will not accept the “new” SAT as qualification for membership.

    It is useful to remember why the I.Q. concept itself was created. It was not to determine who was “retarded” or “slow”. Its purpose as stated by its developer Alfred Binet was to identify individuals from working class and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds who might have the aptitude for higher education and significant achievement. For that purpose (and not to deny anyone a chance to give it a try), it works pretty well.

    No surprise, then, that today’s liberal establishment wants to eliminate the I.Q. and aptitude concepts. Their cause just is not advanced by bringing socially conservative young men from working class backgrounds into the intelligensia and the professions. Is it?

  5. Seneca the Younger July 21, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    Great comments so far. Pretty much what I was going to say has already been said, especially in 2 and 3. I’ll just say this: Standardized tests, like all tests, are biased. They are biased against stupid people.

    Also, why aren’t there comment sections anymore for these liberals rags? Hmm…

  6. Aware One July 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Bowdoin has an endowment of nearly $750 million dollars.

    Depending on what you consider to be a reasonable rate of return on that endowment (6-8%), Bowdoin is almost self-sustaining–meaning it doesn’t even need to admit students or hold one single class to keep paying all its employees. It is simply an investment house with tax-free status.

    Therefore, in the very near future, it will have no need to establish a reputation based on merit, either for the education it provides, or for the students it turns out. It will continue to function as a college in order to keep its tax-exempt status, but any semblance of admission based on merit will cease. The white lower, middle, and upper-middle classes will no longer be welcome. They’ve announced that with their rejection of the SAT and other objective measures of academic achievement. It will be anti-white (man), anti-Christian, and anti-American all the way.

    Expect a rash of announcements like this in the near future.

    College “endowments” are another nail in the coffin for meritocracy in the United States. Since the primary aim of colleges like Bowdoin was education and not profit, they were shielded from ordinary taxation to help them out in their “noble” mission. However, all these institutions skirted the spirit of that law with their drive to build huge “endowments” for the stated purpose of protecting them from economic ups and downs and for providing aid to prospective students. Of course, this was a lie.

    The real aim all along was to shut down the American system of higher education, and its true function of creating a meritocracy and social mobility in the United States. Now these institutions have no need to either recruit or turn out educated, high-achieving students. They are feudal estates, like the universities of the Middle Ages, preparing noble sons for their sinecures and turning out lawyers and churchmen. And just like the feudal system of the Middle Ages, there will be no mertocracy or social mobility. You willl be born into and die among your class, without regard to ability. For the vast majority of us, that means serfdom (slavery).

    There is one notable exeption to the similarity of the European feudal system of the Middle Ages, though. The religion is anti-white, anti-Christian, and anti-America, and the noble sons are the non-white hordes who are being trained to replace the white middle and upper classes.

    Cheery, isn’t it?

  7. Preparation H-Bomb July 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Pitzer College is the LEAST well-financially endowed of all the colleges in the Claremont Colleges system; Pomona College is the most highly $$ endowed. I submit that Pitzer is buying names so that they can produce some grads who become very wealthy and ergo willing to contribute lots of big bucks in the future to their dear alma mater….