That precious college education so many dream of and aspire to grows pricier every year, typically outstripping inflation by a considerable margin. The only good news, if you can call it that, is that very few students need to pay full retail if they know what they’re doing. We work closely with many college admissions professionals that know the secrets of negotiating excellent packages. But that process often depends on SAT and ACT scores, the higher the better.
Many schools out there offer substantial merit scholarships based on both grades and tests scores, so many in fact that improving SAT & ACT scores should be a priority for every applicant. How much is at stake for students with higher scores?
While even perfect test scores cannot guarantee admission to the most competitive colleges, superior SAT & ACT scores almost certainly earn merit money from most other schools. In fact, the list of schools that offer full rides based on grades and test scores is almost too long to list. Academic merit scholarships often depend on the following benchmarks:
ACT: 27+ (but 30 or 32 is more common)
SAT: 1300+ (but 1400+ CR/M is more common)
The most highly competitive colleges don’t typically offer merit scholarships, so students with Ivy League-level grades and scores may have to choose between cache and cash money, but in these instances, it’s nice to have choices! The ROI delivered by superior test scores is almost incalculable when considering the value of getting into a school you weren’t previously qualified (in terms of numbers) for. But you can maximize your merit aid by doing extensive research and working with experts who know how to leverage your high scores for high awards.