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College News

SAT Scores for Catawba College Freshmen Continue to Rise

September 02, 2004

Category: Academics, Students


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According to data released August 31 by the College Board, SAT scores for Catawba College freshmen have risen, ahead of both national and state averages, for the second consecutive year.   This indicates to college administrators that Catawba continues to move steadily toward its goal of shifting from a select to a more selective institution.

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Catawba freshmen had an average, combined SAT score of 1050 for the fall of 2004 (526 verbal and 524 math), compared with a state average of 1006 (499 verbal and 507 math) and a national average of 1026 (508 verbal and 518 math).

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According to Catawba’s Vice President and Dean of Admissions Dr. Russell Watjen, these new figures “show that the quality of the overall class continues to improve and the college’s reputation as a more selective institution continues to grow.   Therefore, Catawba becomes more attractive to other talented and high ability students.”

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Dr. Jesse McCartney, Catawba’s executive assistant to the president, echoed Watjen’s comments noting that “increasing the gap between state and national averages and our scores are part of the institution’s overall strategic plan.”

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College Board officials say that more than 1.4 million students in the class of 2004 took the SAT, representing 48 percent of the national graduating class.   Nationally, this year’s verbal scores are up one point from last year to 508, while this year’s math scores decreased one point from last year to 518.

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Profile information gathered by the College Board on SAT takers in the Class of 2004 indicates that more students continue to report advanced math and science course work, while fewer report English and grammar course work or experience.   Racial and ethnic diversity of SAT takers continues to increase, with the proportion of minority students taking the SAT at an all-time high of 37 percent and the percentage of white students taking it declining to 63 percent. The gap in SAT scores between whites and other racial/ethnic groups continues to increase.

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A new SAT debuts this school year with its first administration slated in March 2005.   While both the verbal and written sections of the test remain, a new essay section has been added by the College Board.   Colleges called for the addition of this new section citing the poor writing skills of high school graduates.   On the new SAT, each of the three sections will be worth 800 points for a perfect score of 2,400 points, as opposed to a 1,600 on the current test with only the math and verbal sections.