by Mahek Khetani| arts and entertainment editor
Prepping for college is a myriad of payments and papers, but the most nail biting prep is the SAT Exam. Not only does it greenlight your acceptance, but if you don’t do so hot, it’s more money out of your wallet.
Therefore, Northside Independent School District, San Antonio’s largest district, has announced that they will pay for students to take their SAT exams at no cost, meaning one less shift you have to take up at Bahama Bucks.
After their announcement, Johnson students and advisors responded to NISD’s bid.
“I think it’s a good idea because the school district should be able to provide tests for students who want to take them because thats an essential part of our education and it’ll encourage people to take the exam and maybe prompt them to apply for college,” sophomore Tory Villarreal said.
It’s common among students to have the notion that they simply won’t get into college, and don’t bother applying. Villarreal explained that if students take the exam and score well, it could give them the confidence boosts they need.
“It would raise awareness and make people want to apply more and emphasize the importance, but I think its partially financial. I guess they realize that most people have the ability to pay for it so I think that assumption ranges depending on the school district,” Villarreal said.
Costly indeed, with more than 7,000 junior students, NISD is spending roughly $308,000 to pay for the exams. That’s like 4,338 Ed Sheeran tickets (front row).
“I think financially it’s probably going to be a little expensive. I do think it’s a good idea because there are students that probably don’t take it because they can’t afford to so that’s why they default to community college versus a university so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. I know our district pays for 10th and 11th graders to take a PSAT and that’s something they have always done,” counselor Rebecca Hudkins said.
As well as the cost, Hudkins discussed the possible conflict regarding college application deadlines for students as well.
Junior Nate Garza expresses that free entrance exams provide many benefits for students, not only financially, but also mentally.
“For the district to provide the SATs would be awesome because it is expensive and maybe some kids at Johnson can’t afford to take these exams on top of the other things we need pay for our senior year, it would definitely change the minds of kids who think they won’t get into college and don’t apply, because maybe if they take the SAT and do well it could change their perception on their college career,” Garza said.
The proposal could be great welfare for students, but for our district to mimic this action is quite a stretch, as our principal explains.
“What all districts try to do is present the best option for kids, if that financial situation is what holding them back then its a great investment but you have to decide what is being depleted to pay for that. If we can assist helping those that need it then we should, those that don’t need it, I don’t believe we should be paying for it,” Principal John Mehlbrech said.
Mehlbrech further explains that to benefit the student body as a whole, we must focus on who needs the funding as opposed to cosmic profit for students.
“Whether or not NEISD will approach that, I’m not sure, but it costs a lot to do that. So where is the best to spend your money if you want to help? For me, I think providing the cost for testing is a perk of what’s going on, but I don’t think it’s a necessity. I think that we should really look at it and provide help for those families that need it. I would be hesitant to universally say that I’m gonna pay for everyone to take the SATs because there are kids that need it, but many don’t,” Mehlbrech said.