With the New Year upon us, high hopes abound for 2019 as families contemplate their annual resolutions. Better health. Better relationships. Better pay. But what if I told you that there’s an investment you can make right now that’s guaranteed to result in a big payoff? No, it’s not a hot stock tip, bitcoin purchase, or poker table in Vegas.
It’s test prep.
ACT and SAT scores directly translate into BIG merit aid at universities across the country.
Merit aid should not be confused with financial aid. Financial aid is based on a family’s financial need as demonstrated by tax returns. Merit aid has nothing to do with income or assets and everything to do with the students’ “merit” or aptitude. And how do colleges gauge aptitude?
GPA doesn’t tell the full story. Admissions officers cannot rely on grades alone because earning an ‘A’ at one school may not necessarily signify the same amount of knowledge and rigor as earning an ‘A’ at another. The ACT and SAT scores give college admissions committees an easier, faster, and more cost efficient way to measure college readiness and achievement.
Colleges admissions committees care a lot about test scores. Not only do they affect the university’s rankings in U.S. News and World Report, but also it’s an insurance policy for the school - a way for the university to verify that a student has a certain curriculum-based foundation and critical thinking ability that increase the likelihood of future collegiate and career success.
What does that mean for your student? That getting just a few more correct answers on the SAT or ACT can earn him or her tens of thousands of dollars a year in merit aid, and not just for one year of college, but for all four. As the economics adage goes, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”… but merit aid is as close as you can get to free money!
Check out the sample list below to see how higher scores lead to more scholarship dollars.
These are just a few published merit awards primarily based on SAT/ACT test scores. In our office, we have found that, on average, every +3 ACT composite jump translates into at least an additional $4,000 of merit money a year. Over the course of four years, that means at least $16,000 of additional free money.
This year, make the best investment in your child’s future. Our proven test prep helps students achieve their highest scores, which not only means more options for college, but also getting paid to go. As parents, you’ll save yourself the sticker shock of high tuition for private, out of state schools; universities that might have seemed out of reach for your family’s budget can become viable options.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year filled with the tremendous upsides of academic and test prep success!
Parents and students typically bemoan the test prep process. It takes dedication of time and effort to raise standardized test scores into the competitive range for selective universities. Colleges make admissions decisions based off of SAT and ACT because the scores are closely tied to students’ success in college and beyond.
“Do I really need to know nit-picky grammar rules and coordinate geometry formulas to succeed in college?” my students ask me. The answer is a resounding no. They don’t. But they will have to rapidly absorb large amounts of information and apply it to papers they write and tests they take.
What matters about the SAT and ACT is not actually what’s on the test, but whether students have the ability to learn how to take the test. The intense time pressure, tricky multiple-choice format, and unfamiliar content is purposeful. What these exams actually measure is whether a student can adapt to a new and unfamiliar challenge with a methodical problem-solving approach and inner resolve. Success on the SAT and ACT means that a student can stay motivated in the face of setbacks, learn from mistakes, and align performance to a new set of standards. Those are invaluable skills that will serve students throughout their academic and professional careers.
To read more about the significance of SAT and ACT test scores, click here to access an insightful article recently published in the Wall Street Journal. I hope that once students realize what is asked of them on these tests, and why scores matter, they will have the motivation to add test prep into their summer schedules and invest in a process with real world payoffs.