(FOX NEWS) -- Planned changes to the SAT are likely to reignite the debate over race and class in the college admissions process.
According to a report by Fox News, The College Board, which oversees the SAT exam, plans to address what it calls an "adversity score." The score will take into consideration the social and economic background of every student.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the details of the score, which will be calculated using 15 factors, including crime rate and poverty level from the student's high school and neighborhood.
Students won't be privy to their scores, but colleges and universities will see them when reviewing applications.
So far, 50 colleges have used it in making a decision about a prospective student's chances. The College Board plans to expand that to 150 higher learning institutions in the fall. The goal is to use it broadly by 2021.
Yale University is one of the schools that has used adversity scores. The Connecticut-based Ivy league has pushed to increase socioeconomic diversity in recent years and has almost doubled the number of low-income students.
"There are a number of amazing students who may have scored less (on the SAT) but have accomplished more," said David Coleman, chief executive of the College Board. "We can't sit on our hands and ignore the disparities of wealth reflected in the SAT."
Yale University is one of the schools that has used adversity scores. The Connecticut-based Ivy has pushed to increase socioeconomic diversity in recent years and has almost doubled the number of low-income students.
"This (adversity score) is literally affecting every application we look at," Jeremiah Quinlan, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale, told the Wall Street Journal. "It has been a part of the success story to help diversify our freshman class."
Still, it's unlikely the adversity score will be a hit with advocates who have long argued that merit alone should dictate whether a student is allowed admission.
According to a February Pew Research Center survey, 73 percent of Americans say colleges should not consider race or ethnicity when making admission decisions. Only 7 percent said race should be a major factor.
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