SC Schools Implement "Adversity Score"

Aimed at increasing minority enrollment

Evan Smith
May 28, 2019 - 3:17 pm



For the first time in its history, the University of South Carolina in Columbia has taken into account the “context” of the students during the admissions process.

In other words, U of SC is not just judging students based on usual factors like grades, test scores and extra-curricular activities, but will also be judging the student’s “overall disadvantage level,” based on aggregated data such as median family income, poverty rate of the student’s area, percentage of vacant homes, crime, and unemployment.

The stated goal is to increase diversity and admitting more first generation college students primarily from underrepresented minorities.

The rating system has been implemented at many colleges across the nation, including Ivy League schools.

But the response has been divisive, with criticism coming from both Conservative and Liberal spheres, both for its imprecision, its condescending undertones, and the lack of transparency regarding how it actually scores students, with many saying it will especially impact poor white and poor Asian students who aren’t considered underrepresented minorities.

Regardless, Clemson is expected to implement the tool next year too.

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