What is a high ACT score and why is it important for scholarships?
An ACT score is a test administered by ACT, Inc., which was formerly the American College Testing Company. Colleges began using this standardized test in the 1950s to indicate the probable success rates of incoming freshmen. The higher the ACT score, the better the student is expected to perform in a college setting. A higher ACT score could result in over $10,000 in scholarship funds.
Some colleges offer extremely good scholarships for ACT scores over 25. For example, Bellhaven College in Mississippi offers $5,000 for ACT scores 29 and over. Bluffington College in Iowa offers over $10,000 dollars per year in scholarship funds annually to first-year students who score 27 or higher on the ACT.. Illinois Wesleyan University offers $10,500 per year to students with a 28. Scholarship amounts vary widely from college to college.
Each institution has its own standard for academic scholarships. Most colleges require at least a 25 with a 3.5 GPA to receive a full scholarship which includes housing. Other partial scholarships may be available for students who score over 21. Students who score over 26 may be eligible for what is commonly called a "full ride," which means tuition, housing, and book allowances. It is important to check with the institution to see what the criteria might be for perspective students. Some schools base the decision solely on ACT scores, while some may require a higher high school GPA and/or extracurricular activities.
Preparing for the ACT is very important. With so much potential resting upon the final score, it will be crucial to make the best grade possible. The test is not an indication of how intelligent a student might be. It is a test designed to see how well-rounded the student is and how well the student can apply himself or herself to a college setting. Most important might be to schedule the test several months before college admission deadlines. It usually takes three to eight weeks for the ACT office to send the test results to the institutions of the test taker's choice.
ACT scholarships can be a valuable asset to students who want to attend college but my lack the finances to do so. Free study guides and tutorials are available on the ACT.org web site. The site also sells many study aids to help students improve scores. The test may be taken more than once. Sophomore and junior high school students may want to take the test so that they can study more carefully and take the test over if the scores are insufficient.
The test costs less than $50. The benefits of receiving an ACT scholarship could easily run into the thousands. Preparation and planning could make the difference in a student's future if he or she scores high enough on the ACT exam.