Will Sub-Par SAT's Keep My Daughter out of Top-Choice Colleges?

Question: My daughter has a 3.81 GPA in all Honors courses, but after two attempts at the SAT, her best score is 1760. The schools she likes list avg. SAT scores of 1900 and up. Does she stand a chance with her scores?

Most college admission officials are quick to insist that, “Course selection and grades are far more important than test scores,” and in a perfect world this is true. In OUR world, however, applicants can look strikingly similar on paper (not that anyone uses paper anymore). Many students take roughly the same courses, earn roughly the same grades, and participate in an all-too-familiar roster of activities (Key Club, yearbook, Model UN, dance team, orchestra, dance team, etc.). Thus test scores can become a tie-breaker, even if the admission folks don’t say so.

But will your daughter’s test results keep her out of her top-choice colleges? Maybe not. For starters, if her application includes other components that her target colleges “need,” this will help to take the spotlight off of her scores. Some of these “distractions” from the test scores could include:

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