Archive for the ‘College News & Op/Ed’ Category

Changes Are Coming to the SAT

Prfung schreibenTaking the SAT is a milestone in the lives of many high school students. Well, that milestone has just changed. The College Board has given the SAT a huge makeover for the first time in over a decade.

These changes will level the playing field for all test-takers and better reflect the Common Core curriculum. But, these major changes are leaving many students with questions, and we’re here to help with that.

The biggest question on most students’ minds is about what exactly is changing. And the answer to that question is a lot. But, the intentions behind these changes are to help test takers do the best that they can on the SAT. The revamped test will be about 45 minutes shorter than it was previously, with a new high score of 1600, instead of 2400. The College Board has removed the penalty for wrong answers, obscure vocabulary sections, and the mandatory writing section.

However, some of these changes might pose a challenge for some test takers. The most significant modification to the SAT involves the test’s reading section. Sentence completion was a common section in the old SAT. That has now been swapped out for longer, more difficult reading passages, from literary sources such as Moby Dick or Ethan Frome. The more comprehensive reading sections have made their way into the math portion of the SAT as well, which will now include more word problems. The math section of the test is now estimated to be 50% reading comprehension. While these modifications may seem intimidating to some students, the goal is for test takers to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses, which will ultimately benefit them as college students.

Now, what do these changes mean for the average student? Maybe nothing – check with your school to see if it prepares students for the ACT or the SAT. And if it is, in fact, the SAT, it may be time to reconsider how you prepare for the test.

Don’t forget – Cappex is doing its part to help make the transition to the new SAT as seamless as possible! Soon, you will see the new SAT incorporated throughout the site. Our scattergram and What Are My Chances Calculator will start to use the new SAT score, plus you will soon be able to input your new PSAT and SAT scores on your profiles.

But despite the changes, just remember to relax and study hard, and you should do just fine!

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Impact of Student Loans on Home Ownership

houses-691586_640A new study from the Federal Reserve, On the Effect of Student Loans on Access to Homeownership, finds that “a 10 percent increase in student debt causes a 1 to 2 percentage point drop in the homeownership rate for student loan borrowers during the first five years after exiting school.” This compares with a 0.1 percentage point decline for controls and is consistent with a 3-month delay in home ownership.

The study assumes degree attainment as a baseline from which to compare the impact of student loan debt on home ownership. Nevertheless, the counterfactual – that student loan borrowers might not have been able to afford home ownership had they avoided student loans by not going to college – remains valid despite this study.

The study also found that the likelihood of home ownership increases with and is dominated by the number of years since exiting school. The study does not, however, address the impact of student loan debt on home ownership past the 5-year window.

The study also does not fully eliminate the potential for confounding factors that contribute both to an increase in student loan debt and a decline in home ownership.

The Federal Reserve study was based on a nationally-representative sample of people who were age 23 to 31 in 2004 and cover the period from 1997 to 2010.

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Serious Student Loan Delinquencies Remain High

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported that 11.5% of student loan debt was seriously delinquent as of Q4 of 2015. This is not much different than in Q4 of 2012, when 11.7% of student loan debt was seriously delinquent. Read the rest of this entry »

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