Editor's note: Spokesperson Jaslee Carayol requested that the Editorial Board clarify that the College Board doesn't sell students' information, they ~license~ it.
Carayol also clarified that "students must affirmatively opt-in" and "can opt-out of Search at any time."
A good college was important to many of our 18-year-old selves. A reputable one, a beautiful one, a diverse one, an institution that valued us as contributing member to its campus life and academics — we all had different criteria based on how society instructed us to pursue our futures.
We sent countless applications to different universities. We busted our asses to achieve a decent score on SAT, ACT and AP exams. We pushed to attain awards and honors, and even took on extracurricular activities. We strained ourselves to receive academic and even professional recognition in the hopes that a college would take notice of us; would add us to their numbers.
What we may not have realized was that no matter which college chose us, we would always be just a number in their eyes.
This careless attitude toward students, and hardworking ones at that, is most exemplified by a recent Wall Street Journal report on the College Board's sale of student profile data to colleges. The College Board is an institution that creates and administers standardized tests and curricula — including the SAT and AP exams — to high school students. In doing so, it holds the reins to one of the most crucial components of the college admissions process; students' data. Why does this matter?
In selling test-takers' names and personal information to universities, the College Board takes part in another, more sinister business — one in which schools inflate their applicant pools and rejection rates based on information that students have virtually no choice but to provide.
The data includes information about high school students' names, ethnic identities, parents' education and approximate PSAT and/or SAT scores. All of this is sold for just 47 cents per student.