Cost of SAT Is Unfair to Students Whose Families Aren’t Well Off

To the Editor:

When I was I high school I was very nervous about the whole SAT idea, because I knew that it cost s lot of money and was something that would not be easy for me to afford with only a single parent. I ended up getting the registration fee waived, and when I sent in my scores to colleges, I was lucky enough to get the expenses of that waived as well. This was not an easy process; your parent (or parents) must have a certain amount of income per year to get the expenses waived, and it has to get approved by your high-school guidance counselor.

Money is one of the major issues when it comes to taking the SAT. It is not fair for families with low incomes, such as mine, because the costs can add up very fast. Beyond the registration fee of $49, a student could end up paying other fees too—a late-registration fee of $26, a phone-registration fee of $15, a standby testing fee of $43, a change fee of $25, or a score-report fee of $10.50.

There are students every day who wish they could go to college, but almost every college requires applicants to take the SAT. Taking the SAT is unnecessary because the test does not prove one’s intelligence and it is guaranteed that most students take the SATs two or three times before sending their scores into colleges. Taking the SAT two or three times means spending double or triple the amount of money one would spend taking the SAT once. It is unfair that some students are lucky and happen to have both parents who take in two incomes, which makes it easier for them to pay for extra SAT expenses.

To make this a less stressful process for students and their parents, colleges should make the SAT optional. This is an approach that some colleges have already taken, and it is proven to work for them. It is really worth spending a great amount of money on a test that does not prove how intelligent someone may be?

Ashley Kelly
Willimantic, Conn.

The writer is a student at Eastern Connecticut State University.

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