Across the country, high school seniors applying to Yale darted home to their computers last Thursday evening eager to find out their SAT results. But their excitement quickly turned to disappointment when technological failure kept them from viewing their scores.
Tens of thousands of students, including a number of Yale applicants, were unable to access their SAT scores from the Oct. 9 test administration on the College Board’s Web site at the end of last week because the site crashed. The malfunction was caused by an “unusually high SAT score-viewing volume,” according to a statement posted Sunday on the College Board site. All College Board online services are now available, a College Board statement said Sunday.
Yale Dean of Admissions Richard Shaw said he did not think the crash would affect the Yale admissions process.
“I would assume they will get their scores by this week and that is soon enough,” Shaw said in an e-mail Sunday. “I think this delay would not have any impact on our process.”
Nora Sharp, a high school senior from Chicago who is planning to apply to Yale early action, said she repeatedly tried to access her SAT scores online Thursday night, but was unsuccessful.
“I tried it a million times, [each time thinking] I’m pretty sure now they’re going to be up there,” Sharp said. “I was checking over and over again.”
Although the site was up on Sunday, Sharp said she still could not access her latest SAT scores, but was able to view her previous test scores.
“My scores just aren’t there from the October test,” Sharp said. “I know at least one other person at my high school whose scores just are not there either.”
Fortunately, Sharp said, she was satisfied with her SAT score from the June administration. She said she will still apply early to Yale, even if she does not receive her October SAT scores before Yale’s Nov. 1 early action deadline.
“It doesn’t really affect my decision to apply early,” Sharp said. “I’ll just deal with it accordingly because I’m satisfied enough with my previous score. They’re not above the 25-75 percentile but they’re within the 25-75 percentile and I’m happy with that.”
Sharp’s mother, Mary Ann Fischer, said she did not view the delay as a “major tragedy,” but she would be concerned if her daughter’s scores were completely lost.
“I might get more than annoyed if they lost her scores or they didn’t show up,” Fischer said.
Kyle Wang, a high school senior in West Hartford who plans to apply to Yale, said he was concerned by the delay.
“I wanted to know my score really badly to know I had a fighting chance to be in the running for schools like Yale,” Wang said. “The delay made me feel somewhat worried.”
Other students said they were anxious about their scores and called the College Board to receive their scores over the phone for a $10 fee.
Frank Trotta, a senior at Cheshire Academy in Cheshire, said he was upset with paying the fee.
“It was like a scam because the only way to get your scores was to pay $10,” Trotta said. “It really pissed me off because I needed to send off my application.”
Mike Convente, a high school senior from Midland Park, N.J. who hopes to attend Yale, said he hopes the College Board will take measures to avoid a recurrence of this problem.
“They should have anticipated [this] to get more servers online,” Convente said. “This shouldn’t have happened with a reputable organization like the College Board with so much at stake. This is a lesson to be learned for the College Board.”
The College Board began allowing students and parents to view SAT scores online in 2001.