Evaluating SAT and College-based, High School Mentorship Program from Fall 2019 to Fall 2021



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Standardized testing is an integral part of college admissions and is one of the major determinants of educational access in the United States. Higher SAT scores are linked to a higher college GPA and scholarship qualifications, but there exist financial and social barriers against higher education for low-income, minority populations. To address these disparities, undergraduate students from the University of Houston Honors College created Aspire, a student-led mentorship program educating high school juniors and seniors on SAT and college readiness. During analysis, it was determined that the COVID-19 pandemic student registration, attendance, and retention rates significantly dropped compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Registration numbers between Spring 2020 compared to Fall 2021 halved from 69 students to 36 students. Although SAT score differences between pre-program and post-program students increased by roughly 56 points, these numbers are smaller than previous literature values. Before COVID-19, student attendance percentages ranged from 51% to 70%, while post-COVID-19 lockdowns, student attendance rates ranged from 39% to 44%. Less than 10 students participated virtually during the COVID-19 lockdown. Thus, COVID-19 significantly decreased program outreach and mentorship quality. Structural program changes relating to mentee retention rates, advertising, and improving mentor training are necessary to facilitate a more effective program.