When the Senate confirmed federal Judge Sonja Sotamayor last week as the first Hispanic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, it marked the biggest milestone in a life already filled with remarkable achievements. But would Sotomayor ever have reached the nation’s highest court if her SAT scores had been the determining factor in her Ivy League college admission? Sotomayor herself thinks not. In a video circulated widely on the Internet, Sotomayor describes herself as a “product of Affirmative Action” and concedes that she never would have been admitted to Princeton and Yale based solely on her standardized test scores. Why? According to Sotomayor, there are “cultural biases” built into the tests that work against someone like her — a Puerto Rican woman raised in a “socioeconomically poor” family in the South Bronx. Click here to watch the video. Whether we agree with Sotomayor or not, her historic Supreme Court nomination gives us all food for thought. Are those of us in higher education turning away highly qualified applicants strictly based on test scores that may or may not reflect their true ability?

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