Community organizations can now distribute waivers; in the past only high school counselors could do so. The waiver system could be more efficient — there is often a rush to get waivers out to seniors at the start of the school year in time for the October exam — and the College Board needs to devise a way to distribute them once an August SAT date begins in 2017, but all in all, the fee waiver program provides a real benefit to low-income students.
So, too, does using the Preliminary SAT-National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) to also identify students who qualify for scholarships designed for students of color and low-income students.
This year the applicant pool of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which provides support for high-performing, low-income students, grew nearly 200 percent as a result of its alliance with the College Board. This, again, is clearly a win. (The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a funder of The Hechinger Report).