When it comes to college planning, there is a reason why ACT prep tutors are key adjuncts to both admissions counselors and financial advisors. It is no secret that competitive to high standardized test scores pave the way for your student applicant to be taken seriously at an increased number of schools. What you may not be aware of, however, is that preferred scores are not a matter of speculation: most institutions of higher learning publicize these golden numbers for the benefit of prospective students. While achieving a test score within or even above the named range does not guarantee acceptance, doing so in combination with other desirable achievements (such as extra-curricular activities or volunteer work) greatly increases one’s chances. Simply stated, a big part of college acceptance depends on a number between 1 and 36.
There is another, and perhaps less well-known, benefit to strong ACT performance. Many schools award substantial grants and scholarships to students who attain certain scores on composite–and in some cases, individual subject–scores. In this way, not only will high-scoring students be given the chance to receive an education at the school of their choice, but their families will be in a much better position to afford it. In my role as an ACT tutor and advisor, I have worked with a number of students for whom this turned out to be the case. Incredibly, in these scenarios, a single point was what blocked–or opened–the door to college affordability. The ACT score can be that important.
As you discuss prospective colleges and universities with your student, it is wise to prioritize ACT preparation. There are no students for whom taking the exam more than once isn’t a smart strategy. And take it from someone who knows: there are few students who cannot improve their scores with guidance from a tutor or other test preparation methods. Improving the score means improving the odds of impressing the admissions representative and preserving your bank account.