If applicants were admitted to America’s top 200 colleges based on their SAT scores alone, more than half of enrolled students would have to leave. The new class, comprised of students with scores higher than 1250, would be less racially diverse and slightly more affluent.

Key Findings

With test-only admissions, the share of White students at top colleges would rise from 66% to 75%; the combined share of Black and Latino students would decrease from 19% to 11%; and the share of Asian students would fall slightly, from 11% to 10%.

Test-only admissions would set 1250 as the minimum SAT score for admission at the country’s top 200 colleges, and raise the median SAT score from 1250 to 1320.

Among students with scores below 1250, fewer Black and Latino students—groups typically assumed to benefit from affirmative action—are admitted than affluent White students.

The share of affluent students at top colleges would only change slightly, rising from 60% to 63%, as a result of implementing this admissions policy.


How would enrollment change at highly selective colleges if SAT scores were the sole factor in admissions decisions?

Full Report

SAT-Only Admission: How Would It Change College Campuses? finds that this admissions policy would replace 53% of incoming students, creating a less racially diverse and slightly more affluent student body.