Local News

Concerns Over Anthrax Affect Raleigh H.S. Student's College Plans

Posted November 15, 2001 4:43 a.m. EST

— The anthrax scare across the nation has had an unexpected ripple effect for thousands of high school seniors. Their SAT test answer sheets are locked up with other mail in quarantined New Jersey post offices, and it is affecting the students' college plans.

The College Board

, which oversees the SAT, says 7,800 students across the nation and more than 500 in North Carolina, will either have to take the SAT again or seek a refund. Neither option gives much comfort to one Raleigh student who feels his college career is on the line.

Chance LeBrun takes great pains with his schoolwork. The

Southeast Raleigh High School

senior is working on college applications, but there has been one huge hold-up -- his SAT scores.

"I really got concerned when everybody else at school was getting their scores back," he said. "My friends who went to Millbrook High to take the test. They get all their scores back and everybody that went to Shaw University with me didn't get any scores back."

The College Board believes thousands of SAT answer sheets are locked in a Trenton, N.J. Post Office while the federal government sweeps the center for anthrax spores. That is no consolation for LeBrun. His application to UNC-Chapel Hill is due Thursday.

"We have been calling at least twice a week and they haven't given us any indication that there was any problem at all," said Diane LeBrun, Chance's mother. "It was not directly their fault, but to not notify us put a lot of students, including my son's application, in jeopardy."

"Without those scores, I was afraid that they wouldn't consider me," he said.

LeBrun will re-take the SAT Dec. 1 at Millbrook High School and send the new scores on. The rest is up to Carolina. LeBrun also said UNC is his first choice and he wanted his application to be perfect, and it is not without the test scores.

UNC-Chapel Hill says the university will give students affected by the anthrax delay some consideration as they apply. Students who took the Oct. 13 test at Shaw University, Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines, and Wallace Rose Hill High School in Duplin County are affected.

There is no word yet as to whether the students will receive their original test scores. The College Board recommends students re-take the test for free or apply for a refund.