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What to Do if Your Child Receives a Low SAT Score

Sad Teenage BoyDo not panic if your child receives a low SAT Score.  Stop, breathe and:

Remember your child is so much more than an SAT score.

Help your child realize they are so much more than an SAT score.

Understand that not all colleges require an SAT or ACT test score to gain admission.

Many liberal arts colleges are beginning to recognize that students are more than a test score and evaluating candidates based on the “whole” person.
A broadening of admission requirements is a welcome relief for parents and students with test anxiety, a history of low standardized scores, learning styles differences and/or learning disabilities.

In 1970, a small college named Bowdoin College made the decision to admit students without SAT scores. They realized they had been passing up talented students. Occasionally they would deny admission to applicants who had strong grades, top letters of recommendation, strong personal character, but lower SAT scores.

Rather than base admission on an SAT score, they decided to evaluate applicants based on:

  • Academic performance
  • Accomplishment within school (extracurricular activities)
  • Character qualities

Bowdoin College’s decision to admit students without SAT scores started a trend that has now led to approximately 850 other colleges and universities opening up their admission requirements. And the trend may continue.

Over the last forty years more and more colleges have questioned a student’s SAT score as the number one indicator of the student’s future success. Like Bowdoin, these schools no longer want to deny admission to qualified students whose SAT scores are the only part of their application holding them back.

The lists below are just a sampling of the roughly 850 four-year colleges that do not require the SAT or ACT.

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