Most students tend to think of the ACT as a not-so-fun requirement to get into college, no matter how selective the school. But the ACT also aligns with scholarships in key ways that can make the pursuit of a high ACT score worth thousands of dollars in merit scholarships.
State schools have been leaders in using ACT scores as a benchmark for merit based aid. For example, in Missouri, at the University of Missouri-Columbia, a student who gets a 25-27 on the ACT could get $3,000 a year in scholarship money. Raise that score to 28-30, and the amount goes up to $4,500 a year. Raise it to 31 or higher, and the amount jumps to $6,500. Hit 32 or 33 and have a strong academic record, and you can apply for $10,000 scholar awards. At Missouri State University, a similar combination of ACT score ranges and GPA will get the same type of automatic scholarships as at the Columbia campus. And if you are a Missouri resident attending a Missouri school, you can qualify from Bright Flight scholarships, worth up to $3,000 per year, if you have an ACT of 31 or higher.
If you are looking outstate, many state schools have wonderful offers based on ACT scores and strong academic performance. For instance, at the University of Alabama, if an outstate student scores a 33 or higher, the student receives a free tuition scholarship for all four years of college. At the University of Georgia, an outstate student with a 32 or higher on the ACT can receive a scholarship of roughly $10,000 per year, and also have the chance to apply for a full ride scholarship with a 33 or higher. Other schools like Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan will offer significant merit scholarships for ACT scores ranging from 29 or above.
Many private schools get in on the merit scholarships as well, particularly those that may not be as exclusive as certain elite universities but they still want to recruit quality academic talent.
Given the potential to reap thousands of dollars in scholarships, students should definitely consider taking the time to invest in test preparation. At Mackler Associates, we offer a course of 20 hours of individual instruction that has yielded incredible results: every year the vast majority of our students receive some form of merit based scholarship tied to their ACT score.
We hear often how going to college is an investment in your future. That is true. But investing in premier test prep at Mackler Associates pays dividends that makes that investment in college a much lower sum.