Frequently Asked Questions
Because “college prep” refers to the core set of high school classes, this term has basically become the way to identify the standard class level. College Prep is the class you will take when you are not being challenged by the honors or AP version of a class, and when you are not placed into the remedial version of the class for catch-up.
Strategic students will spend the summer after 10th Grade preparing for the SAT and may take the test as early as August, October or November. 10th Grade is too early to take the SAT for the first time, while conversely, 12th Grade is too late.
Unless you have achieved a perfect score the first time you took the test, plan to take the test at least three times for best results starting in the summer after 10th grade and continuing through 11th Grade, with the final test in June. This means that you should prepare all summer long after 10th Grade for the test so that you can achieve your best score, hopefully the first time around. 11th Grade is an ideal time to take the SAT. Statistically, the more times you take the test, the better your result will be. If you don’t achieve your perfect score the first time around, practice definitely makes perfect in this case.
Score Choice is optional for many universities. While you may take the SAT as many times as you like and submit the scores you choose to your university of choice, you must share ALL of your scores with certain universities. Top universities will want to receive ALL of your test results and place importance on your highest score or create an average of all of the scores you send. It is critical to know that not everything you hear about school choice is entirely true.
For example, you cannot hold back your SAT scores from certain universities. MANY top schools will want to see ALL SAT scores for ALL tests taken, not just the top scores in each section.
Georgetown University, as just one example, does not participate in score choice AT ALL. Many universities will require ALL SAT SCORES when you apply to their college: Stanford, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, and Yale. If you DO NOT submit ALL scores, university admissions committees may frown upon this.
Here’s a short excerpt from Stanford’s website about how they expect students to submit their scores.
Official and Self-Reported Scores
All scores from all high school sittings of either the ACT or SAT (or both if you took both) are required. Stanford will review applications from students attending U.S. high schools using either official or self-reported ACT with Writing or SAT with Essay scores. Official score reports are not required unless the student is admitted and chooses to enroll. Please self-report your highest scores in the Testing section of either the Coalition Application or the Common Application. If you have taken the test more than once, first enter your highest scores in the Testing section. Then use the Additional Information section to report the rest of your scores or send your student score report(s) as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. All official scores will be required if you are offered admission and choose to enroll.
Students should NOT prepare for the SAT a month or two before the exam. A few weeks or hours of prep simply aren’t enough. If you really want to excel, you should take at least one dozen proctored exams before game day. Many of our students, in particular, those who scored in the 99th percentile, prepared intensively 6 months- 1 year in advance, and took approximately 10-20 proctored practice SAT tests. This allows you to set yourself up for success without putting yourself in a high pressure do-or-die mentality. We suggest pacing yourself, setting a clear timeline, and practicing over and over again as part of your action plan. Test prep and college admissions don’t need to be stressful if you prepare and plan.
1) Avoid intense, short term SAT /ACT prep and favor taking the test over and over for a few months as a practice lead up to the test in August prior to or during your 11th grade year. You can then opt to take the test two more times at a later date. What you don’t want to do is leave the SAT to the last minute.
2) Avoid taking the test in May of your 11th grade year. Students unhappy with their May results, will have to pay an additional fee in late registration fees to register for the June exam and will have only a week to study from the time of registration. May results arrive as late as May 22 and the registration deadline for the June test is May 23. Information for test availability can be found here. This is also a grueling time in the school year for many juniors. At this time in the year, students take AP (Advanced Placement) exams, IB (International Baccalaureate),exams, complete term papers, prepare for New York State Regents exams, and get ready for school finals, and are generally wrapping up end of year work.
Bryn Mawr College
California Institute of Technology
California State University-Long Beach
Carnegie Mellon University
Case Western Reserve University
College of William and Mary
Georgia Institute of Technology
Johns Hopkins University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
New York University, NYU
Oberlin College of Arts and Sciences
Pennsylvania State University-University Park
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
San Diego State University
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-Davis
University of California-Irvine
University of California-Los Angeles
University of California-San Diego
University of California-Santa Barbara
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
University of Pennsylvania
University of Rochester
University of Southern California
University of Wisconsin
Wake Forest University
Washington University in St. Louis
According to a recent US News and World Report article:
“Just 8.5 percent of all applicants to Ivy League colleges were admitted for fall 2016, U.S. News data show. The average acceptance rate at all other four-year colleges and universities nationwide was about 65 percent for the same time period.
Students who apply early may fare better in the Ivy League admissions process. The average early decision acceptance rate at Ivy League schools was about 23 percent for fall 2016. These programs are binding, meaning students pledge to attend if they get accepted.
Princeton, which has a nonbinding single-choice early action program, accepted 19 percent of its early action candidates in fall 2016. Yale offers a similar program and admitted 17 percent of its early applicants last year.
The average early decision acceptance rate for non-Ivy League schools was about 63 percent for fall 2016 admission, while it was 73 percent for early action programs, according to U.S. News data.
You can search some of the websites below.
12 of the best websites to find a college scholarship
Fastweb hosts more than 1.5 million scholarships that provide more than $3.4 billion. Once you create a profile, the site’s search feature will help you find the most accurate matches that fit your needs. Your personal profile is how the site helps you find pretty much exactly what you’re looking for.
You can then also see all the scholarships you applied for, or may want to apply to in the future. They also have ‘contests’ that you can enter monthly or weekly to win money.
While the College Board is known for its college planning tools, it also has an arm that focuses on scholarships. Big Future hosts scholarships, as well as other financial aid and internship information from more than 2,200 programs — totaling nearly $6 billion. In order to get the most accurate search results, it’s critical to fill out as many details as you can in the profile that’s used for searching.
Formerly known as College Prowler, Niche is a great tool that can help you find colleges AND money. It’s organized into categories that make it pretty easy to find what you’re looking for — allowing users to search by interest, career, major and other areas.
Niche also has some contests to enter.
Free College Scholarship Search Financial Aid Grants Scholarships College Scholarship Scholarships hosts one of the largest scholarship databases out there and it’s updated on a daily basis. According to the site, “With more than 2.7 million scholarship and grant opportunities worth more than $19 billion, just about everyone is bound to find something.”
It’s easy to browse by category, but the best way to take advantage of what the site has to offer is to make a personal profile, which will allow you to find the most exhaustive lists of opportunities available to you.
Moolahspot isn’t as robust as some of the other scholarship databases, but in the search for a college scholarship, it’s another option to help you find extra money.
When you go to the site’s homepage, go to the top right corner to search college scholarships. From there you can either search by specific keywords or create a personal profile in order to get the most accurate matches that fit your needs. Once you make a profile, you create and save lists of opportunities you’re interested in.
Scholarship Monkey allows you to search for scholarships a few different ways. You can search by keyword, browse scholarship lists (various categories/topics) and also see lists of the latest and featured scholarships. The site also allows you to create a personal profile for more accurate results.
Cappex hosts a database of more than $11 billion in scholarship opportunities. Once you create a personal profile, you can search for opportunities that directly match your strengths and skills. Plus, Cappex has a tool that will calculate your odds of getting into a certain college before you even apply.
Chegg is widely known for its online textbook store that allows students to either rent or buy textbooks for cheap. But Chegg is also a great resource for finding scholarships — more than $1 billion worth of them.
To search for available scholarships, go to ‘colleges’ at the top of the homepage and then click ‘scholarships’ in the drop-down menu. Once you create a personal profile, you can search for available opportunities that match your criteria. Chegg also has a ‘top scholarship picks this week’ category that highlights some options you may have missed.
Unigo hosts millions of available scholarships and makes it easy to search by type, including: athletic scholarships, college-specific scholarships, company-based scholarships, minority scholarships, major-specific scholarships, state-specific scholarships and more. You can search by category or create a personal profile to get more specific results that match your needs. Unigo also offers scholarship contests and sweepstakes.
Peterson’s hosts $10 billion in scholarship opportunities and also provides information to help you in your search. Once you fill out a short survey, you can filter your search results so they’re tailored to your specific needs.
The site also allows users to search by a variety of different topics, college types and personal details — in order to give you the best results for you.
12. The U.S. Labor Department’s Free Search Tool
According to the official, this free tool is a great resource for students to search more than 7,500 scholarships, grants and other various types of financial aid award opportunities.
Theallows you to:
- Look through the site’s entire inventory of scholarships, arranged in order of closest deadline.
- Narrow your list with a “search by keyword” option: Just enter a keyword about the type of award you’re looking for.
- Online Services
- Southern Oregon University
- Boston University –
- Boston University –
- 1600 SAT score
- 4.0 GPA, or your school’s equivalent
- incredibly well-written highly personal essays
- distinctive summer activities in which you gain either leadership experience, worldly perspective, or further academic training
- extracurricular activities in which you are a leader, a success, and more than just a participant
- highly personalized letters of recommendation from two-three trusted community members/teachers
- attend a competitive school from which Ivy League universities are willing to recruit.