Equity and Access

Priscilla Rodriguez Shares How the SAT Is Helping Students Who Are Often Left Out of the Conversation

Priscilla recently described her own journey to college as the daughter of Colombian immigrants to the U.S.

In late 2019, the College Board named Priscilla Rodriguez as its Vice President of College Readiness Assessments. In this role, she leads all programs related to the SAT Suite of Assessments, including the SAT and PSAT-related assessments.

In opinion pieces appearing in the California-based publication Capitol Weekly and Spanish-news outlet La Opinión, Priscilla recently described her own journey to college as the daughter of Colombian immigrants to the U.S., and how the PSAT-related assessments and SAT are providing educational opportunities to students from traditionally underrepresented groups across the country, including through free, personalized test practice, college application fee waivers, and scholarships.

In “The SAT is helping minorities succeed,” she writes:

“Many of these students, like me, wouldn’t have known about potential scholarships had they not taken the PSAT/NMSQT or the SAT. Students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and don’t attend schools with strong academic resources are denied the implicit benefits of the ‘grade inflation’ that happens at many wealthy and private schools. They may also lack access to the letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and the help on their college applications that their wealthier peers have. Sometimes it’s the test itself that helps these young people stand apart from the pack.”

And in “Cómo el SAT les está ayudando a las minorías a tener éxito”:

"Muchos de estos estudiantes, como yo, no hubieran sabido de las becas que están disponibles si no hubieran tomado el PSAT/NMSQT o el SAT. A los estudiantes que sufren desventajas o no asisten a escuelas con una sólida preparación académica, se les niega los beneficios implícitos de la “inflación de calificaciones” que sucede en muchas escuelas ricas y privadas. También les puede faltar acceso a cartas de recomendación, actividades extracurriculares, y a la ayuda en sus aplicaciones a universidades que tienen sus compañeros más adinerados. A veces es el examen mismo el que ayuda a la gente joven a distinguirse del montón."

Capitol Weekly is a publication widely read by education leaders in California, and La Opinión reaches over 20 million readers monthly worldwide through its digital platform and is also the most-read print newspaper in Spanish in the United States.