Baylor U. Stops Offering Students Incentives to Retake the SAT

October 17, 2008

After the news broke this week that Baylor University had offered admitted freshmen financial incentives to retake the SAT and improve their scores, the institution faced widespread criticism from admissions professionals. Some critics said Baylor was only trying to influence national college rankings.

Although the university defended the practice as a way to award more scholarships, a spokeswoman now says that, in hindsight, the policy was a bad idea.

“We shouldn’t have offered the incentives,” said Lori W. Fogleman, director of media relations. Baylor’s “motives were pure,” she said, but “we’ve heard the criticism and take that to heart.”

In the future, Baylor will still allow admitted freshmen to retake the SAT in order to improve their scores and possibly get into a higher scholarship bracket, Ms. Fogleman said. It will not, however, offer them incentives — like the $300 bookstore credit or the $1,000-a-year award for raising their composite score 50 points — to retest. —Beckie Supiano