Friday, March 10, 2006

Whoops! Sorry, my mistake 

USAToday reports that 4,000 students were affected by a mis-scoring of their SATs because of a computer malfunction. While they say most mistakes were within 40 points, that can matter quite a bit for admissions and financial aid awards. Less than one percent of scores were affected.

I have a question, based on this paragraph from the USAToday report:
The College Board said it would refund registration and related fees to the affected students. It added that it reported only cases in which the corrected scores were higher than originally reported.

It doesn't seem to be a problem in the article. But a Chronicle of Higher Education article about this yesterday, however, said that was causing some chafing among college admission officials.
"There's an incomplete explanation of what the problem actually is, how it was discovered, and why they took so long to let us know," said Dennis Trotter, vice president for enrollment and marketing at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pa. "For them to send us a memo saying this was a small statistical error feels a little condescending and is not acceptable."

Some students are getting admitted now than did before, and otehrs are getting more financial aid. Moreover, and I think the biggest problem, some students are now realizing that their decision not to apply to some schools because of their scores was based on bad information. Hard to see how that gets fixed.