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2014 College Board Program Results: SAT

Participation

A look at the SAT results for the class of 2014 shows an increase in overall participation — including among most minority students and students who took the exam using a fee waiver.

  • 1,672,395 students from the class of 2014 took the SAT, an increase compared to 1,660,047 students last year.
  • Of those students who took the exam, nearly half were minority students: 47.5% (793,986 students) were minority students — an increase from 45.9% in 2013.
  • 23.6% of students took the exam using a fee waiver, an increase from 23.4% last year.

The SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark

The need to improve college and career readiness remains critical. The College Board developed the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark to help college and secondary school administrators, educators, and policymakers identify students who are likely to be ready to take college-entry, credit-bearing courses in college and not need remediation. The SAT Benchmark score of 1550 is associated with a 65% probability of obtaining a first-year GPA of B- or higher at a four-year college.

  • Only 42.6% of SAT takers in the class of 2014 met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. This number has remained virtually unchanged over time.

This problem is especially acute among underrepresented minority students.

  • 15.8% of African American SAT takers met the benchmark.
  • 23.4% of Hispanic SAT takers met the benchmark.
  • 33.5% of Native American SAT takers met the benchmark.
A bar graph that compares the percentage of African American, Hispanic, and Native American students who took the SAT in 2014 and the percentage of those students that met the benchmark, compared with the National average statistics for the same data.
 

Studies show that students who meet the benchmark are:

  • More likely to enroll in a four-year college. 78% enrolled in a four-year college or university, compared to only 46% of those who did not meet the benchmark.
  • More likely to complete their degree on time. 54% earned a bachelor’s degree within four years, compared to only 27% of those who did not meet the benchmark.

College Board research shows that students who meet the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark are more likely to complete a high school core curriculum, which is defined as four or more years of English, three or more years of mathematics, three or more years of natural science, and three or more years of social science and history. However, about one in four students in the SAT class of 2014 did not take a core curriculum.


Missed Opportunities

Among the SAT takers in the class of 2014, there was a group of students who fell off track between the time they took the PSAT/NMSQT and the time they took the SAT.

1.67 million SAT takers graduated in 2014. 9% of all SAT takers were within one year's growuth of being on target for college and career readiness. 609,074 took the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of their junior year and the SAT in the fall of their senior year. 5% were on target for college and career readiness in 11th grade, but fell off target by the fall of their senior year of high school.
 
Research shows that applying to two colleges instead of one makes it 40% more likely that a student will enroll in a four-year college. Students who apply to more than two are predicted to improve their chances of enrolling even more. Among SAT takers in the class of 2014, more than 55% sent SAT scores for application to fewer than four colleges.

The SAT and Expanding Access to Opportunity

The College Board is committed to expanding access to the SAT, an important part of the college admission process. We are also working to remove barriers in the transition to college by using the SAT and other assessment results to propel students into the opportunities they have earned.

Realize Your College Potential and Apply to 4 or More™

Using results from the SAT and PSAT/NMSQT, the College Board delivers personalized, actionable information about the college application process to high-achieving, low-income students through our Realize Your College Potential initiative. In addition, our Apply to 4 or More campaign encourages students to apply to four or more colleges (i.e., to at least one safety, two good fits, and one reach) and increase their propensity to enroll and succeed in a college that is a good fit for them.

Redesigned SAT

Earlier this year, the College Board announced a redesign of the SAT. The College Board, in partnership with Khan Academy, is making free test preparation materials for the redesigned SAT available to all students. 

College Application Fee Waivers

Currently the College Board contributes approximately $78 million in program fee waivers to students each year. Beginning in the 2014-15 academic year, every income-eligible senior who takes the SAT or SAT Subject Tests™ using a fee waiver will receive four college application fee waivers from the College Board. These college application fee waivers are being delivered to students online and are made possible by the generosity of participating colleges and universities. Thanks to our member partners, the fee waivers can be used at more than 2,000 colleges and universities nationwide.

SAT School Day

SAT School Day helps states and districts foster a college-going culture and increases access to college by allowing students to take the SAT for free during the school day. This ensures that students who might otherwise face barriers to standard Saturday testing — such as transportation, part-time jobs or family responsibilities — do not miss out on a chance at the college-going process. For example, in Maine, where the state provides funding for all students to take the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT, we saw increased access to college for 5% of students who were college and career ready but previously were not likely to have taken the SAT or considered going to a four-year college. Similarly, there were modest increases in both two-year (3%) and four-year (4%) college enrollment after implementation of statewide SAT testing in Maine. This year, the SAT will be administered during the school day to all public school juniors and/or seniors in Delaware, Idaho, and the District of Columbia, and to students in more than 60 districts in 12 additional states.