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Articles / Preparing for College / Are SAT Scores on Transcripts Mandatory in NJ?

Nov. 19, 2008

Are SAT Scores on Transcripts Mandatory in NJ?

Question: For NJ students: is it mandatory that the high school send transcripts to colleges with SAT information?

It is not mandatory for New Jersey public high schools to include SAT scores on transcripts. Typically, high schools (or school districts) make their own policies about what a transcript includes, and I'd never heard that there were any statewide mandates. But just to be certain, I checked with one of the top admission pros in the Garden State-- Scott White, Director of Guidance at Westfield High School and former Director at Montclair High School--who confirmed that there is no NJ rule that requires the scores on transcripts.


Many high schools choose to put the SAT (or ACT) scores on their transcripts in order to maintain all student records in one place for their convenience, to expedite the receipt of scores in admission offices, and to enable students to avoid paying unnecessary fees to the College Board, since many colleges will accept transcript SAT's as "official." On the other hand, some high schools refuse to put test results on transcripts, claiming that it a violation of privacy and that students have the right to determine who will see their scores.

When I am advising seniors who are applying to test-optional colleges and who don't want admission officials to eyeball their test results, I caution them that the scores may be on their transcripts. Even if the colleges won't officially "use" the transcript scores, if the scores are low and the admission folks see them anyway, it can spawn a bias against the candidate--albeit perhaps a subconscious one. I tell students in that situation to politely request that their scores be removed from the transcript before the transcript is sent. Some students report back to me that they've found resistance to this at their schools, but, in such cases, it's because they're bucking a local practice and not because they're asking for a violation of any statewide regulation

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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