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The Value of Test Prep, Part 3: Successful Test Prep - Guaranteed Return on Investment

Colleges often claim that admissions processes take a holistic view of students, and that no one area - ACT/SAT score, GPA, application essay - holds more weight than the next. While having a balanced candidate profile when applying for college is an ideal goal, the value of high ACT/SAT scores is not to be underestimated. Not only does outstanding performance on the ACT or SAT send a strong, distinct message to colleges, it also makes a variety of scholarship options available to your child - guaranteeing that you, as a parent, get a high rate of return on the time, effort, and resources applied toward test prep. 

Merit-based scholarships have among the most significant impact on reducing college costs overall. While these scholarships allow parents and students to get the best bang for their buck, they’re also an inspiring award for all the hard work your student puts in throughout his or her high school career. Each college awards merit-based scholarships on its own terms, but a recent release from the University of Rochester provided a rare glimpse into just how vital a role ACT and SAT scores play when it comes to allotting scholarship dollars. The numbers were astounding. For every ten points above average that a student earned on their SAT score, he/she was awarded about $115 in additional funds, per year. As for the ACT, every point above average amounted to an average $425 in allotted merit funds. Let’s use an example. Should you invest an average of $1500 into test-prep, and as a result your student performs about 150 points better on the new SAT scale or 4 points better on the ACT (a reasonable test-prep goal) than the average accepted student - then over the course of your student’s college journey your family could save about $2,000 per year or $8,000 over four years at the University of Rochester.  

Scholarship levels will vary school by school and requires individual research. Another example can be found using the University of Arizona’s model, where a student with a 3.25 GPA and 29 ACT will receive $6,000 additional dollars per year versus a student with the same GPA and 24 ACT. Five points can mean a $24,000 tuition difference over four years. The result? Test prep classes yield a significant ROI, which is why parents should think of ACT and SAT scores as opportunities for tuition waiving and consider determining their own ROI for their student's test prep services.

Remember, merit-based scholarships typically are granted on a four to five-year level, assuming your child continues to perform well in college. Not only does the monetary return on test prep go up in value, consider that foundational pre-college test prep equips students with the building blocks necessary to study effectively beyond high school - helping to secure ongoing merit-based scholarships throughout their college careers. 

Now, weigh the fact that high-performing ACT/SAT scorers are far more likely to be accepted at competitive universities, and combine that knowledge with what we now know about merit-based scholarship allotments. Suddenly, the value of test prep isn’t abstract, but quantifiable. All in all, test prep allows students to perform with more confidence and ability, in turn boosting their chances at being accepted to the college of their choice. What’s more? The odds of your child receiving a merit-based scholarship that he or she can maintain for the long term go way up, too.

Colleges often claim that admissions processes take a holistic view of students, and that no one area - ACT/SAT score, GPA, application essay - holds more weight than the next. While having a balanced candidate profile when applying for college is an ideal goal, the value of high ACT/SAT scores is not to be underestimated. Not only does outstanding performance on the ACT or SAT send a strong, distinct message to colleges, it also makes a variety of scholarship options available to your child - guaranteeing that you, as a parent, get a high rate of return on the time, effort, and resources applied toward test prep. 

Merit-based scholarships have among the most significant impact on reducing college costs overall. While these scholarships allow parents and students to get the best bang for their buck, they’re also an inspiring award for all the hard work your student puts in throughout his or her high school career. Each college awards merit-based scholarships on its own terms, but a recent release from the University of Rochester provided a rare glimpse into just how vital a role ACT and SAT scores play when it comes to allotting scholarship dollars. The numbers were astounding. For every ten points above average that a student earned on their SAT score, he/she was awarded about $115 in additional funds, per year. As for the ACT, every point above average amounted to an average $425 in allotted merit funds. Let’s use an example. Should you invest an average of $1500 into test-prep, and as a result your student performs about 150 points better on the new SAT scale or 4 points better on the ACT (a reasonable test-prep goal) than the average accepted student - then over the course of your student’s college journey your family could save about $2,000 per year or $8,000 over four years at the University of Rochester.  

Scholarship levels will vary school by school and requires individual research. Another example can be found using the University of Arizona’s model, where a student with a 3.25 GPA and 29 ACT will receive $6,000 additional dollars per year versus a student with the same GPA and 24 ACT. Five points can mean a $24,000 tuition difference over four years. The result? Test prep classes yield a significant ROI, which is why parents should think of ACT and SAT scores as opportunities for tuition waiving and consider determining their own ROI for their student's test prep services.

Remember, merit-based scholarships typically are granted on a four to five-year level, assuming your child continues to perform well in college. Not only does the monetary return on test prep go up in value, consider that foundational pre-college test prep equips students with the building blocks necessary to study effectively beyond high school - helping to secure ongoing merit-based scholarships throughout their college careers. 

Now, weigh the fact that high-performing ACT/SAT scorers are far more likely to be accepted at competitive universities, and combine that knowledge with what we now know about merit-based scholarship allotments. Suddenly, the value of test prep isn’t abstract, but quantifiable. All in all, test prep allows students to perform with more confidence and ability, in turn boosting their chances at being accepted to the college of their choice. What’s more? The odds of your child receiving a merit-based scholarship that he or she can maintain for the long term go way up, too.

At Achieve Academics, we understand first-hand the value of quality, successful test prep. Not only do small group classes or one-on-one tutoring options build academic ability and confidence within your child, it also provides him or her with personalized study strategies and habits that last well into college. ACT/SAT scores certainly don’t define your child or their chances of success, but they can absolutely make a difference when it comes to being accepted at his or her top choice university, as well as determine how much tuition comes out of your wallet. In other words, an investment in quality test prep early on can pay dividends shortly down the road. At Achieve Academics, we’re here to help both you and your child reap the rewards of test prep, no matter your student’s needs, learning style, or goals.

The Power of Good Grades

Photo Credit: Bigstock.com

Photo Credit: Bigstock.com

Getting good grades means more than just preparing students for college. A strong GPA imparts countless other positive benefits that prove valuable to students, in both their academic lives and beyond. Garnering high marks in school certainly positions students well for college, and of course, that’s one of the most important reasons to maintain a competitive GPA. But, let’s consider some of the additional benefits that students with good grades can enjoy:

 

1.     Good Grades Boost Confidence

When students work hard and receive good grades for their efforts, it not only results in an enviable GPA, it also means that students witness the fruits of their labor. After enacting discipline and diligence to earn an A, students enjoy a well-deserved confidence boost that will carry over into the next chapter or ensuing course. Good grades have the power to craft a more capable, confident, and proactive student who is unafraid of a challenge.

2.     Good Grades Let Students Do What They Want to Do

Sure, good grades are ingredient number one when it comes to applying to college, but they also set students on the right path toward their ultimate career field. While it can be challenging to envision the long-term returns of a high GPA, encourage your student to imagine himself or herself in a dream career, and then recognize that good grades are an essential step in achieving that goal. Lay the foundation now, and your student’s future self will be grateful.

3.     Good Grades Develop Lifelong Positive Habits

It takes self-discipline to earn good grades, and by putting in the work during school, students are also preparing themselves for college-level courses and eventually, a career. By forming good habits and routines in order to achieve high marks, students work as their own advocates, instilling within themselves the power to take on a difficult goal and achieve it. By steadily earning good grades throughout school, students will arrive at college with an already established framework to tackle future challenges.

4.     Good Grades Lead to Scholarships

College admissions are more competitive than ever, so it’s no wonder that GPAs are emphasized as a way for students to prove to universities that they are dedicated to their studies. But what’s more, good grades also lead to scholarship opportunities, which not only make college a more feasible financial undertaking, but also work well on a future resume, where recognition for scholastic achievement demonstrates much about a person’s work ethic and character.

 

At Achieve Academics, we provide a range of one-on-one tutoring services and small group classes for students of all learning styles, needs, and focuses. Whether prepping for the SAT, ACT, an AP exam, or if students are seeking to elevate their GPA and double-down on schoolwork, we provide the environment and resources necessary for students to fully engage with their academic goals. At Achieve Academics, we understand what’s necessary for a student to achieve success, and we’ll be there every step of the way.