Should the SAT be optional? Bribery scandal renews debate

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- The college bribery scandal is bringing new attention to the debate over using standardized test scores to judge applicants.

Numerous colleges have made SAT and ACT scores optional, with leaders saying they want to increase equity and diversity.

David Hawkins of the National Association for College Admission Counseling sees more exploring the change. He says even before wealthy parents were accused of paying to boost scores, colleges have been scrutinizing all aspects of admissions to see whether they promote or inhibit access.

College Board Executive Director David Coleman says pricey test tutors have benefited wealthier students taking the SAT, which the board administers. But he says all students are now offered free test prep online and a pilot program is under way to measure SAT scores in relation to a student's challenges.