Just make sure that your parents went to college.
The College Board has just released it’s “Total Group Profile Report” for 2016 college-bound seniors …
One set of numbers caught my eye:
SAT scores by the student’s parents level of educational attainment.
Note that about 2/3’s of the college-bound seniors taking the SAT came from homes with a degreed parent – either associate, bachelor or graduate.
Only about 1/3 came from homes with parents having only a high school education or less.
And, the performance differentials are substantial between the groups …
The performance differentials are illustrated on the chart below:
Scaling off the high marks earned by students whose parents hold graduate degrees:
Students whose parents didn’t finish high school score about 15% below average and about 25% lower than students whose parents hold graduate degrees.
Students whose parents finished high school but didn’t earn a college degree, score about 10% below average and about 20% lower than students whose parents hold graduate degrees.
(1) Disproportionately few students whose parents are non-degreed even take the SAT.
(2) And, those who do, have a big scoring gap against students coming from degreed homes.
Why is that?
Explanations range from DNA to family resources (for better schools and test prep) and parental study help – either help with the material or motivation & discipline.
But, the latter – motivation & discipline – doesn’t require a high level of education attainment … it just needs parents who value education – whether they have it or not.
Case in point: ME !
My dad dropped out of school in the 8th grade to work on the family dairy farm.
My mom was yanked from school in the 6th grade to housekeep for her 6 siblings and single-parent father.
Both parents survived the Depression.
That experience cemented their belief that education matters.
The value of education was a dominating core value in my family.
Teachers weren’t to be questioned and grades were expected to be high.
Did it work?
My math SAT was over 750 … defying the above chart.
I guess my parents didn’t need to be educated to be smart …