College Ready or Just Wealthy?


Photo Credit: Rachel O'Connor

The infamous blue book should look familiar to those fortunate enough to enjoy the benefits of test prep.

by Rachel O'Connor, Staff Writer

There is a lot of stress that comes with preparing for and taking the SAT. Some students start preparing years in advance, while others start SAT prep only a few months, or less, before the test rolls around. The key to success seems to be in the preparation, with higher SAT scores correlating with higher income. Students at Glen Rock benefit from this, as the average household income is about $140,000.

According to the College Board, achieving a 1550 out of 2400 on the test means the student can be considered college ready. But is the SAT really a fair test? It seems that money heavily influences how a student performs, so for those who live in areas where prep teachers are unavailable or unaffordable, it is almost guaranteed that they will achieve lower scores than those who can afford prep courses.

“It’s incredible the difference privilege makes,” commented Anna Lis, a senior. At Glen Rock, eighty-nine percent of seniors took the SAT, with seventy-two percent scoring at least a 1550. Compare this to Paterson, which is only a town over, where at nine of their twelve schools no seniors achieved a score above what is considered college ready. It is estimated that, in households that have an income of $200,000 or more, students received scored 358 points higher than those with incomes between $20,000 and $40,000.

Mary McDonough, a senior, voiced her opinion on differences in scores due to money, saying, “It’s very unfair that high schoolers in other towns don’t have the advantages and opportunities that Glen Rock kids have to succeed. We are very lucky to live in an environment that enables our academic success.”