How much does your SAT/ACT score matter?

A lot has changed in the last 20 years when it comes to applying for colleges: SAT/ACT tests continue to evolve; teacher recommendations aren’t the differentiator they once were; and now more than ever, we accept that a student’s abilities can’t be measured solely through GPA and SAT/ACT scores. So, where does that leave college-bound students in 2018?

To help parents understand these changes and how they affect the college application process, Curvebreakers presents this first installment in our 3-part College Application Series:

How much does your SAT/ACT score matter?

One big piece of this process continues to be the standardized SAT and ACT exams. Of all the factors impacting a school’s acceptance, we believe these test scores make up approximately 30% of the overall decision. However, they are extremely important for being awarded scholarship money.

Baylor University, for example, has an online calculator to demonstrate how much scholarship money you may be offered based on your SAT/ACT score. Going from a 28 to 33 on the ACT can increase your scholarship money by $14,000 over the course of a four-year degree.

Check out this chart at Colorado State University. For non-resident, incoming freshman, it shows how SAT/ACT scores correlate to their different scholarship tiers:

If a student does not submit SAT/ACT score(s), logically, the remaining parts of the application must be very strong to separate the student from other applicants. Because SAT/ACT scores are not always parallel with academic performance, it is possible for a student with an average GPA to do well on the SAT/ACT. The decision to take either test shouldn’t be overlooked just because of GPA.

The bottom line: the goal with the college application is for the student to stand out as much as possible. Not properly preparing for or not taking the SAT/ACT is a lost opportunity to receive as much scholarship money as possible and help you stand out from the crowd.

Part 2: How does high school GPA influence colleges’ acceptance decisions?

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