How SAT and ACT Prep Can Help You Get a Scholarship
Many students focus on college entrance exams such as the PSAT, SAT, and the ACT as necessary to get into their preferred colleges; however, test scores are also considered for many academic scholarships and grants. High test scores can improve students’ chances of receiving scholarship awards and grants.
Many scholarship requirements include high test scores. For instance, the eligibility requirements to receive the National Merit Scholarship include taking the PSAT/NMSQT exam and scoring in the top 50,000 of 1.5 million applicants, which translates to the top three percentile of applications. One specific scholarship in St. Louis, Missouri is offered only to the top 15% of high school graduates from any high school in the greater St. Louis with the stipulation that the applicant must score at least 29 on the ACT.
Some colleges and universities also offer scholarship awards based on test scores. For example, the University of Houston in Texas offers awards of $2,500 to $7,000 per year through its Academic Excellence Scholarship. Along with ranking in the top twenty percent of the student’s graduating class, the criteria for a qualifying student is a score above 1200 on the SAT or a score above 26 on the ACT. Eligibility is automatically reviewed for freshman students without them intentionally applying for the award.
The most efficient way to achieve high exam scores, especially a score within the top five percentile, is to use a proven test preparation course. Exam preparation programs’ cost depend on a number of factors including the reputation of the program, the student’s accountability to the instructor and how the program can be personalized for the individual student. Scholarships awards and grants often exceed $1,000 each, so excellent test preparation can return more than its cost in scholarships and grant opportunities.