Moving America Forward

Can Software Close the SAT Achievement Gap?

December 30, 2013
Can Software Close the SAT Achievement Gap?
It helps low-income students go to top universities. Here's how.

Dan Driscoll started City Football Club, a nonprofit soccer program for middle and high school students in Washington, DC. To play soccer, students had to participate in SAT tutoring and college counseling. Driscoll found that his tutoring techniques helped his students gain an average of 100 points on each of the three sections of the SAT. And while many of his students were heading to college, he wanted to find a way to give the same opportunity to other students. So he started Prepify, a cloud-based service that teaches students to take the SAT and ACT. The program adapts to students’ progress—for example, if a student misses a question, an easier version of a similar question will pop up next—and could close the gap in test scores between low-income students and their affluent peers. Prepify is a for-profit company, and Driscoll plans to reinvest all profits back into the software to create tools like a progress dashboard to connect low-income students with top universities.

MORE: The Bay Area groups that are trying to close the STEM gap