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A critical look at the SAT

Parents of college-bound children typically have enough financial worries wondering how they’ll pay for college that they tend to overlook incidental expenses, such as trips to visit colleges and application fees.  But one expense may soon go the way of the rotary telephone — the SAT prep course.

According to an article in the New York Times, a special commission is recommending that colleges move away from their reliance on SAT scores. “It would be much better for the country, ” according to William R. Fitzsimmons, the dean of admissions and financial aid at Harvard University, “to have students focusing on high school courses that, based on evidence, will prepare them well for college and also prepare them well for the real world beyond college, instead of their spending enormous amounts of time trying to game the SAT.”

And yet, that’s just what thousands of parents all across the country pay for their kids to do each year — game the SAT.  Take the test away, and the money that would’ve been spent on prep courses goes back into the bank of Mom and Dad. It may just be pocket change compared to the cost of college, but even nickels and dimes add up after awhile.

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