Colleges that give aid based on standardized test scores may appeal to high-achieving students. Though some colleges are renouncing the use of SAT and/or ACT scores in the admissions process, many not only use these for admission but also for scholarship awards.
Whether you're looking for a public or private college, chances are there is one that will offer your teenager scholarships based largely on his performance on the SAT and/or ACT. Colleges that give aid based on standardized test scores range from large public universities near major cities to rural Christian educational institutions.
Many colleges that give aid based on test scores will only award funds if the student also demonstrates a good high school GPA. Some also require demonstrated financial need.
It's always a good idea to make sure your child's potential colleges receive the appropriate test scores even if these are not required for admission. Following up, especially if the school is her first or second choice, is another great way to ensure financial aid success in this area of student achievement.
East Coast Colleges
The following is a partial list of colleges on the East Coast that offer scholarships and/or grants based on college admissions test scores. Always confirm with the educational institution, as programs are subject to change based on funding.
Alfred State College in New York awards significant aid based on test scores and the high school GPA. Students with at least a 93 (usually A- or B+ depending on the high school system) as well as a 1200 SAT or 26 ACT score are eligible to receive free room, board and tuition. Those with at least a 90 average in high school as well as an 1150 SAT or 25 ACT score can receive free room; students with at least an 88 grade average and an 1100 SAT or 24 ACT score are eligible for free board of 18 meals per week.
Bluffton College in Ohio will award $8,396 in institutional aid each year to first-time college students with at least a 23 ACT or 1050 SAT score as well as a 3.0 GPA. The college offers several other grants, including one of $10,396 a year to incoming students with a minimum 3.75 GPA and a 1220 SAT or 27 ACT.
West Coast Colleges
If your teenager hopes to attend a West Coast college, some institutional scholarships are also available based on his achievement on college admissions tests and regular classroom tests.
Dominican University of California will honor minority students who score at least a 920 on the SAT and earn a 3.2 GPA in high school with $11,500 in funding each year. Non-minority students can still receive $11,500 in grant aid annually, but must score at least a 1200 on the SAT and achieve at least a 3.6 GPA in high school.
Harvey Mudd College, also in California, offers a possible $5,000 per year institutional grant. Selected students scored at least a 700 in the verbal portion of the SAT, a 700 or higher on the SAT II writing exam, at least a 750 on the SAT II Math test, and a SAT II Math 2C score above 750. The student must also rank in the top 10 percent of her high school class. All five criteria must be met to receive the scholarship award.