Smart Test Prep, Brighter Future: Enhancing Scores For Scholarship Success

A sketch diagram showing how planning, goal setting, and studying helps gain scholarships and money for university

It’s exciting to dream about the future and look forward to all the possibilities your dream career could bring you. You’ve got a plan: go to college, get your degree, and grab that dream job. But sometimes, that dream can come with a big challenge: skyrocketing college costs in the U.S. Education comes with a big price, especially for those who can’t afford pricey tutors. Most test prep programs primarily serve students from high income families, while many students come from middle-income families too.

But, don’t worry! Even with money challenges, you can find affordable online test prep programs that will help you get merit scholarships and make your college dream real. College is expensive, but your test prep doesn’t have to be! In this article, we’ll explore how test scores and college scholarships connect, and how affordable, quality high school test prep for the SAT®, ACT® and AP® can create more chances for you to get into your dream college.

The Relationship Between Merit Scholarships and Test Scores

Having access to college scholarships makes a big difference. Some scholarships, like athletic scholarships, aren’t an option for most, but merit scholarships are great because they’re tied to academic achievement. Schools often look at scores from tests like the SAT, ACT, or AP as a benchmark for awarding merit-based scholarships, because test scores serve as quantifiable metrics, providing a standardized basis for evaluating candidates.

We’ve compiled a list of scholarships for college-bound students and their award amounts to get you started. There’s also the respective SAT and ACT scores for each scholarship, so you know how much to aim for during your test preparation.

Grants and Scholarships for High School Students
Scholarship Amount Awarded Cut-off Scores
SAT ACT GPA
Army ROTC Scholarship Varies 1000 - 2.5
Bruce Fishkin Scholarship Fund Up to $50,000 per year 1100 22 3
Mike Molino RV Learning Center Scholarship Program $2,500 1040 22 2.8
The Edmund F. Maxwell Foundation $5,000 per year 1200 26 -
Actuarial Diversity Scholarship $1,000-$4,000 620(Math) 28 3
PointTheWay Foundation Up to $5,000 1100 22 3
American Indian Education Fund Up to $2,000 - 14 2
The Anthony Munoz Scholarship Fund $20,000 - 18 3
Army ROTC Scholarship Varies - 19 2.5
Engebretson Foundation $10,000 1240 28 3.75
U.S. Air Force ROTC High Achievers Scholarship Varies up to full tuition 1240 26 3
Distinguished Achievement Scholarship (CCU) $22,000 per year 1410 30 4
Trustees' Scholarship (CCU) $18,000 per year 1320 28 3.8
B. Bradford Barnes Memorial Scholarship Direct Education Expenses (1yr) 1290or equivalent ACT score - 3
Herman M. Holloway Sr. Memorial Scholarship Direct Education Expenses (1yr) 1000 or equivalent ACT score - 3
Charles L. Hebner Memorial Scholarships $1,250 per year 1290 or equivalent ACT score - 3
JSU Honors Scholarship $95,000 over 4 years 1370+ 30+ 3.75
JSU Leadership Scholarship $7,500 per year 1030-1320 20-28 3
Gold Scholarship (New Mexico Tech) $5,000 per year 1360 30 3.5
Silver Scholarship (New Mexico Tech) $4,000 per year 1260 27 3.25
Copper Scholarship (New Mexico Tech) $2,000 per year 1130 23 3
Ned McWherter Scholars Program (Alabama State) $6,000 per year Equivalent SAT score to ACT 29 29 3.5
Presidential Academic Scholarship (Alabama State) Full Tuition, books, required fees, and on-campus room and board 1240 26 3.76
Academic Excellence Scholarship (Alabama State) full tuition, required fees, and books 1160 22 3.51-3.75
Academic Incentive Scholarship (Alabama State) full tuition and a $500 book award 1020 20 3-3.5
Black and Gold Scholarship  (Alabama State) $4,000 per year 940 18 2.75
Distinguished Scholars Award (FAMU) Tuition 1440 32 4
George W. Gore (FAMU) Varies 1330 29 3.75
Presidential Special Scholarship (FAMU) Varies 1220 27 3.5
President's Gold (FGCU) Florida Resident $5,000 per year 1320 28 3.9
President's Silver (FGCU) Florida Resident $3,000 per year 1220 25 3.5-3.89
Blue and Green Scholars Award (FGCU) Non-Resident $15,000 per year 1320 28 3.9
Blue and Green Director's Award (FGCU) Non-Resident $10,000 per year 1220 25 3.5-3.89
Presidential (IDU) $7,500 per year 1420 32 4
Presidential (LTU) $9,000-$9,500 1450 33 3
Dean's Scholarship (LTU) $8,000-$8,500 1420 32 3
Outstanding Student (LTU) $6,000-$6,500 1390 31 3
Outstanding Student (LTU) $5,000-$5,500 1330 29 3
Outstanding Student (LTU) $4,000-$4,500 1260 27 3
Outstanding Student (LTU) $3,000-$3,500 1200 25 3
Outstanding Student (LTU) $2,000-$2,500 1130 23 3
President's Choice (LTU) $1,000 1030 20 3.75
Platinum Level (MT) $5,500 per year 1340 29 3.45
Gold Level (MT) $3,000 per year 1200 24 3.1
Silver Level (MT) $2,000 per year 1110 22 3
President's Honor Scholarship (TXS) $12,000 per year 1420 32 Top 25%
Texas State Achievement Scholarship $8,000 per year 1260 27 Top 25%
Texas State Achievement Scholarship $8,000 per year 1160 24 Top 5%
Texas State Achievement Scholarship $7,000 per year 1160 25 Top 15%
Texas State Achievement Scholarship $6,000 per year 1160 26 Top 25%
Texas State Distinguished Scholarship $5,000 per year 1160 27 Top 30%
Texas State Distinguished Scholarship $4,000 per year 1160 28 Top 35%
Texas State Distinguished Scholarship $4,000 per year 1060 21 Top 25%
Distinguished Presidential (Tuskegee) Full tuition, room/board, fees, and $800 books 1300 28 3.7
University Merit (Tuskegee) Full tuition + $800 books 1200 25 3.5
University Achievement (Tuskegee) $10,000 1100 22 3.3
Alabama Incentive Grant (Tuskegee) $5,000 + housing 1030 19 2.8
Tuskegee University Grant $8,000 1030 20 3.1
UAH Presidential Tuition + 1 year of university housing 1600 36 4
UAH Academic Excellence Tuition 1390 30 3.5
UAH Academic Merit $4,000-$7,300 1200 25 3
UAH Academic Recognition $2,050-$3,500 1060 21 3
Presidential Elite (Alabama) Tuition, 1 year of housing, $1,000 supplemental scholarship per year, $2,000 one time allowance for use in summer research or international studying, $500 per year for books 1600 36 4
Presidential (Alabama) Tuition 1360 30 3.5
Foundation in Excellence (Alabama) $9,000 1330 29 3.5
Foundation in Excellence (Alabama) $9,000 1360 30 3
Collegiate (Alabama) $8,000 1300 28 3.5
Collegiate (Alabama) $8,000 1330 29 3
Capstone (Alabama) $7,000 1260 27 3.5
Capstone (Alabama) $7,000 1300 28 3
UA Legends $6,000 1230 26 3.5
UA Legends $6,000 1260 27 3
Crimson Achievement $5,000 1200 25 3.5
Crimson Achievement $5,000 1230 26 3
UA Recognition $4,000 1160 24 3.5
UA Recognition $4,000 1200 25 3
President's Distinguished (ULM) $16,588 - 30 3.5
President's Distinguished (ULM) $15,088 - 30 3
Academic Excellence (ULM) $13,088 - 27 3.5
Academic Excellence (ULM) $12,588 - 27 3
Academic Merit (ULM) $9,688 - 23 3.5
Academic Merit (ULM) $9,188 - 23 3
Ace's Award (ULM) $7,288 - 20 3.5
Ace's Award (ULM) $6,788 - 20 3
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $9,252 1450 33 3 (+$4000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $7,500 1420 32 3 (+$4000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $5,500 1390 31 3 (+$4000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $4,500 1360 30 3 (+$4000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $3,500 1330 29 3 (+$4000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $3,000 1300 28 3 (+$2000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $2,250 1260 27 3 (+$2000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $1,900 1230 26 3 (+$2000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $1,500 1200 25 3 (+$2000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $1,500 1160 24 3 (+$2000 for 3.5)
Academic Merit (Mississippi) $1,000 1130 23 3 (+$2000 for 3.5)
Perfect Score Scholarship (Mizzou) 100% tuition, $3500 additional stipend, $10940 one year on campus housing and dining, one time payment $2000 for research and study abroad 1570 36 ?
Chancellor's Award (Mizzou) $7,200 1360 30 3.6
Curators Scholars Award (Mizzou) $5,000 1230 26 3.3
Excellence Award (Mizzou) $3,500 1060 21 2.9
Presidential (Utah State) Tuition and Student Fees 1450 33 3.75
Dean's (Utah State) $7,387 for 2 years 1360 30 3.5
Scholar (Utah State) $4,500 for 2 years 1260 27 3.25
Merit (Utah State) $3,000 for 2 years 1130 23 3
Land Grant (Utah State) $2,000 for 2 years 1060 21 2.9
Trustee (Utah State) $1,000 for 2 years 960 18 2.7
Volunteer Scholarship (Tennessee) $9,000 1490 34 -
Volunteer Scholarship (Tennessee) $5,000 1360 30 -
Volunteer Scholarship (Tennessee) $3,000 1300 28 -
Presidential Honors Scholarship (UTA) $12,000 1500 34 4 (Top 5%)
Presidential Scholarship $10,000 1400 31 3.9 (Top 15%)
Maverick Academic Scholarship $1,000-$8,000 1280 27 3.7 (Top 25%)
Provost (UK) $2,500- $5,000 1230 26 3.3
Presidential (UK) Full Tuition 1390 31 3.5
Otis A. Singletary Full Tuition and housing stipend 1450 33 3.8
Kentucky Governor's Scholar Presidential Full Tuition 1390 31 3.5
Century Scholarship (MTSU) $6,000 - 34 3.5
Lightning Scholarship (MTSU) $3,000 - 30 3.5
Blue Raider Scholarship (MTSU) $2,500 - 25 3.5
Future Alumni Scholarship (MTSU) $1,500 - 22 3.5
Award of Excellence (OU) $4,000 1390 31 3.5 or top 10%
Distinguished Scholar (OU) $3,000 1330 29 3.5 or top 10%
University Scholarship (OU) $2,500 1300 28 3.5 or top 10%
Academic Achievement (OU) $2,000 1160 24 3.25 or top 10%

Doing well on these tests can make a big difference in getting more financial help for college. Exceptional test scores can sometimes open doors to specialized or exclusive merit scholarship programs, especially in highly competitive fields or institutions. A study1 by the NACAC about one-third of selective colleges state that a small increase in standardized test scores could make a difference in an admissions decision. Even a difference of just 10-20 points on the SAT could be a game changer in college admissions. While earning merit-based scholarships depends on other factors, like your high school grades, activities, and essays, good test scores can still make you stand out in the admissions process.

Numbers Don’t Lie –Test Prep Helps

 Illustration showing the relationship between test prep, test scores and merit based scholarships

Research4 shows that students who prepare well for standardized exams are seen to perform better than those who take the tests unprepared. Statistically, students from high-income families usually earn more scholarships, especially because they have access to expensive test prep and tutors to help them prepare more effectively for these high-stakes entrance exams and earn top scores which qualify them for college scholarships. Tutoring is highly-effective, sure, but it’s incredibly expensive and can cost hundreds of dollars per hour. Conversely, there are free test preparation resources that provide only a basic level of readiness, which may not enable you to attain the high scores necessary for eligibility in merit-based scholarship programs.

So, is cashing out thousands of dollars the only way to score high on these tests? Absolutely not! Your test preparation doesn’t have to drain your savings to be effective! A rigorous, cost-effective test prep resource containing exam-like questions can help you prepare for these tests effectively. And because these prep programs are online, you can study anywhere you want, even on a vacation!

Online Test Prep: A Worthy Investment

Learn Smarter, Retain More

  • Quality online test prep programs like UWorld are more rigorous and effective for test preparation
  • Learn smarter with comprehensive study materials & detailed answer explanations
  • Attractive visuals and flashcards help you retain more of what your learn
  • Build a solid foundation with expert guidance
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Turn on your Competitive Streak

  • Stay on track with timed and untimed tests to target areas where you need more work
  • Know where you stand with personalized analytics of your mock-test performances
  • Performance trackers help you know how you perform on practice tests compared to other UWorlders

An investment that won’t break the bank

  • One-on-one Tutoring cost:
    $4005 per  AP subject or college entrance exam per year
  • UWorld test prep cost:
    $15 – $96 per AP subject, and $46.44 – $193.2
    per college entrance exam per year
  • Average scholarship amount:
    $13,690 per year
  • Get all that money back and save thousands of dollars in college!
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Learn Strategy, Not Just Content

  • A Good Test Performance Needs Steady Nerves!
    A rigorous test prep program designed to enhance your time-management and test taking skills, ensuring a stress-free test day for you

An Investment in Your Future

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. You pay for it in some way. And usually with your time, your most valuable asset.” – Michael Leboeuf

High-quality test preparation programs are meticulously crafted by educators, scholars, and experts, all working diligently to support your success in these examinations. A cost-effective online test prep is designed not only to help you increase your SAT, AP and ACT points, but also to help you master the skills, strategies and content required for your future educational prospects. As they say, the only free test preparation is no test preparation at all! Free test preparation typically lacks comprehensive answer explanations and competitive strategies that can set you apart from your peers. In contrast, high-quality, cost-effective online test preparation is a smart investment that can pave the way for you to secure substantial college scholarships.

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Real Success Stories

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References

  1. Briggs. (2009). Preparation For College Admission Exams. files.eric.ed.gov. Retrieved October 28, 2023, from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED505529.pdf 
  2. Sanchez, Moore, & San Pedro. (2018). Investigating Test Prep Impact On Score Gains Using quasi-Experimental Propensity Score Matching. https://www.act.org. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/R1710-investigating-test-prep-impact-2018-07.pdf
  3. Zauderer, S. (2023, July 23). 57 Scholarship Statistics, Facts & amp; Demographics. https://www.crossrivertherapy.com/research/scholarship-statistics#:~:text=College%20Scholarship%20Statistics&text=On%20average%2C%20first%2Dtime%20undergraduates,22%25%20decrease%20from%20last%20year
  4. Briggs. (2009). Preparation For College Admission Exams. files.eric.ed.gov. Retrieved October 28, 2023, from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED505529.pdf

    Sanchez, Moore, & San Pedro. (2018). Investigating Test Prep Impact On Score Gains Using quasi-Experimental Propensity Score Matching. https://www.act.org. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/R1710-investigating-test-prep-impact-2018-07.pdf
  5. Lehane, A. (2021, August 31). I'm a Yale grad who charges students up to $85,000 a year for college prep — here's what it takes. Command Education. https://www.commandeducation.com/press/082921-college-prep-tutor-top-schools-ivy-admissions/

    Fabian-Weber, N., & Fabian-Weber, N. (2023, March 2). How much does a tutor cost? Care.com Resources. https://www.care.com/c/how-much-does-a-tutor-cost/
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