Taking the SAT is hard enough without worrying about registration fees, and New York City knows it. The district announced Monday that 11th graders in the city's public schools will be able to take the college entrance exam for free starting in 2016, the New York Daily News reported. The SAT will also be administered on a school day as part of a push to increase the number of students taking the test and continuing their education.
“This is saying, ‘We believe in you and know you are ready to go to college,'" chancellor Carmen Fariña said at a news conference. The SAT typically costs about $54 and is taken by more than 2 million people every year, most of whom later choose to submit their scores with college applications. The test itself is usually given on a Saturday, but only on certain dates at certain locations.
Fariña's decision to waive the fees and restrictions is aimed at improving statistics that show 56 percent of students took the exam last year, the New York Times reported. Now, about 15,000 students at 92 of the city's schools will be able to test for free in 2016. In 2017, all juniors will, according to a news release.
The $1.8 million program could make the test a new standard for the city's juniors. "For some families, maybe from better educated or more affluent backgrounds, the SAT or ACT really is a default; you know you’re going to do it,” Benjamin Castleman, an education and public policy professor at the University of Virginia, told the New York Times. “For those who are less educated, the SAT may not be part of the default practice. Applying to college may not be the default practice.”
New York City joins states like Connecticut, Idaho, Michigan and New Hampshire in administering the SAT for free, WNYC reported.