GPA or SAT? Which is a better predictor of college success?

John at Discriminations has a wonderful post on a NYTimes OpEd that says that the SAT predicts graduation rates better than high school GPA. He wrote the author about a possible objection and the author wrote back an answer!

The OpEd starts off:

FOR some years now, many elite American colleges have been downgrading the role of standardized tests like the SAT in deciding which applicants are admitted, or have even discarded their use altogether. While some institutions justify this move primarily as a way to enroll a more diverse group of students, an increasing number claim that the SAT is a poor predictor of academic success in college, especially compared with high school grade-point averages….
So, here is the question: do SATs predict graduation rates more accurately than high school grade-point averages?

Go read the NYTimes article, then head over to
Discriminations to read the rest. It’s a very good discussion.

As a homeschooling mother of a son presently applying to multiple colleges across the country, I am pleased to hear that the SAT is such a good predictor. My son’s grades are high, but that is partially a feature of our early homeschooling rules. For the first eight years of education, the boys had to get a perfect score. If they didn’t get something correct, they had to keep working on it till it was all correct. This was a built-in motivator for getting their work done correctly to start with. This (mostly) carried over into high school.

My son’s GPA for dual credit courses at the CC are also reasonably high. (He is on the President’s honor roll and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa.) So in his case I don’t know that they don’t both indicate how well he will do. In fact, as a worried mum, rather than a college professor, I am relieved to know that something outside my grading says he will do well.

It’s also a good thing for homeschoolers in general because some of the universities presently require that homeschoolers take the GED. (None of the ones E is applying to, though. That was one of the requirements to start. That and top 100 ranked schools and his program.) With this as an argument, there should be more maneuverability in getting that changed.

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