In the latest sign of the premium that society places on an elite education, Cablevision is offering a free SAT preparation course as an incentive for people to subscribe to its Optimum cable TV service, reports the New York Times. By dangling the prospect of higher test scores as a carrot for subscribers, the company has elevated SAT tutoring to a status previously occupied by such marketing come-ons as the PBS tote bag and the Sports Illustrated fleece jacket. The on-demand PSAT and SAT training course (ordinarily available for $99, Cablevision said) is being offered online by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. In conjunction with the promotion, Cablevision also has produced a television series for its MSG Varsity channel, “Prepare for the Next Level,” that is “designed to help high school students and their families prepare for the college application process.” Michael London, vice president of corporate strategy at Kaplan, said in a news release, “While Kaplan frequently collaborates with companies to provide employees with access to our programs, MSG Varsity is breaking new ground by making test prep available as a benefit to customers.”

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