With college application season approaching for High School Seniors, and Juniors about to put the “pedal to the medal” and ramp up their college efforts, one of the areas where both should step-up their efforts is preparation for standardized tests!

If you are looking for college scholarships and aid to help keep college affordable, then your SAT and ACT test scores become CRITICAL because they are more in determining financial aid versus admission.

Yes, your scores count in admissions decisions, but the admissions folks will look at “the whole package” to make an admissions decision.

Financial aid, on the other hand, relies on your SAT and ACT scores much more. The better the scores, the better the offer tends to be! Your GPA and your SAT or ACT score are the keys to the financial aid vaults.

If you don’t take a preparation course and continue to study when it’s over so that you get the best scores possible, then you are running the risk of NOT getting admitted to colleges on your list.

Even if you are admitted, higher SAT or ACT scores can get you MORE money to help you pay the bill!

Standardized test scores are used heavily in the financial aid packaging process. 50 SAT points or 3 ACT points might mean the difference between $3000 in scholarship money and $6,000 in scholarship money.

That is why it’s worth spending money preparing for the tests.

For example, let’s say you invest $500 on a standardized test prep course and increase your scores on the SAT by 100 points (or the ACT by 2 or 3). As a result you get $1000 more in scholarship money freshman year from a school, you are now ahead $500!

BUT wait, there’s more. If that money is renewable for four years, that $500 has actually gotten you $3500 more in financial aid! Are you with me?

If spending $500 now gets you $3500 more in scholarship, does it now make more sense to you why you should invest the time and money?

The choice is yours. Save $500 now and SPEND hundreds or THOUSANDS more later.


Invest some money now and potentially SAVE a BUCKET of money later

Bottom line if a higher score makes it easier to get in to the college you love AND helps you spend less on the college bill, than it is worth the time and money investment.

Your Assignment:

Seniors: Check with the financial aid offices of the schools to which you’re applying and ask what is the last test date they will accept scores from for financial aid purposes. Some colleges will accept SAT scores from the January exam when it comes to financial aid. It is worth your time and effort to take the test again if improved scores get you MORE SCHOLARSHIPS and aid to help pay the bill!

Juniors: Start preparing NOW for SAT and/or ACT tests you’ll take this year. You should Study 2-3 hours per week!

Author's Bio: 

Jeanmarie Keller has helped thousands of students get into colleges they love while making sure their parents save a fortune on the bill. Jeanmarie is the creator of the Smart Plan For College System which teaches her client-families how to get noticed in the admissions office, get in at the colleges right for them and how to get the money they need to help pay the bill.

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