Another academic year is up and running, and our regional team is busy delivering workshops for the region’s counselors, visiting university campuses to discuss our support for admission efforts, and meeting with leaders in state departments of education to learn how we can best buttress student achievement and state superintendents’ goals.
As we begin our work to help connect another class of students to college success, it seems appropriate to review the participation and performance of the class of 2009 on the SAT. The College Board’s 2009 College-Bound Seniors report has just been released, and it includes academic, demographic
and socioeconomic information about all SAT takers in the nation. These numbers, representing real students and real trends, give us an indication of what national and regional stories our college entrance exam results are telling.
The stories are about both access and success. This year’s SAT group was the most diverse yet, with 664,098 minority students taking the test nationwide, or 40 percent of the 1,530,128 participants. That 40 percent is up from 38 percent last year and 29.2 percent in 1999. This is significant, because it shows us that we are making steady progress in increasing minority participation rates. Hispanic participants represent the largest and fastest-growing group of minority participants and now account for 13.5 percent of all SAT takers, compared to 7.8 percent 10 years ago..
Here in the South, we have also had the most diverse group yet taking that significant step in pursuing a college education by taking the SAT. Of Georgia’s 63,440 college-bound seniors who took the SAT, 43 percent were minority students, up from 32 percent in 2004. In addition, 37.8 percent of Georgia’s SAT takers will be the first in their families to go to college. In Virginia, 59,612 graduating seniors took the SAT, 36.4 percent of whom were minority students — an increase from 27.7 percent in 2004 — and 31.8 percent of these participants will be the first from their families to go to college. The message: There is a growing cadre of students poised for college admission and college success who have historically been on the margins of the collegiate experience.
Other findings show the participation of first-generation students is about the same as in recent years. More than one-third (36.1 percent) of participants reported that their parents’ highest level of education was high school or less. And a quarter of 2009 SAT takers (25.2 percent) reported that English is not exclusively their first language, compared to 18.3 percent in 1999.
The College Board, has just released How Much Are College Students Borrowing? — a report coauthored by College Board Senior Policy Analyst Sandy Baum that offers information about all students who completed an associate or bachelor’s degree or a certificate in the 2007-08 academic year. Forty-one percent of these students graduated with no debt, while the number graduating with debt increased from 54 percent in 2003-04 to 59 percent in 2007-08. The largest increases were found among the students who earned certificates and two-year degrees. Access the full report here.
The College Board’s message and mission are reflected in the report’s numbers and in the SAT data: We are a nation of strivers, and education professionals in our region are dedicated to providing students with the tools they need to graduate from college. The SAT is one of the tools that helps students, families and college admission officers gauge students’ chances for college success.Return to top
Click here to see events and workshops in the Southern Region.
During this pivotal time in our nation, the College Board invites you to join us for two special opportunities to connect with education professionals dedicated to effecting change and increasing college readiness.
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