College Planning

What Is Landscape™?

Landscape™ provides consistent high school and neighborhood information to help college admissions officers fully consider students, no matter where they live.

With colleges receiving more applications from more places, there's no way for any admissions officer to know every single high school. Some they'll know very well. Others they'll know very little about. And some they won't know at all. 

How will colleges use Landscape?

During the college application process, you provide a lot of important information like your GPA, personal essay, high school transcript, letters of recommendation, and many other things. Landscape doesn't replace this individual information.

Colleges will use the information in Landscape, along with everything you share in your college application, to see consistent neighborhood and high school information for applicants. Remember, Landscape doesn’t include any personal information about you other than the test score you chose to send to colleges, and it doesn’t change your test score in any way.

landscape infographic

How do we know colleges will use Landscape to include students, not exclude them?

Colleges do not use Landscape to decide who gets in and who doesn't. It simply helps admissions officers give more students from more places a fair look.

You can read the Landscape Appropriate Usage Guidelines that colleges agree to and follow when using Landscape.

Some students have a great deal of hardship in their background that wouldn't show up. How is that a fair view of my landscape and context?

Landscape is just one part of a college’s admissions process and does not include any information specific to the student other than their SAT score. There are other components of the college application where it is appropriate and encouraged for students to share personal circumstances, stories, and experiences, such as in their personal essay. Students should reach out to the admissions office at the colleges where they apply to find the best place to share this type of information about themselves.

Can students see data on their high school or neighborhood?

This year, we'll work with our district and high school members on an approach to sharing Landscape information with students and their families. Starting next year, counselors, students and parents with College Board account, will be able to access the same information about their high school and neighborhood that colleges will see in Landscape.

NOTE: There will be rare instances where there isn’t enough data about a high school or neighborhood to populate the information. Those neighborhoods and high schools won’t be included in Landscape.

For details about Landscape and more answers to frequently asked questions, go to