Guest Post: How SAT Scores Can Lead to Scholarships

It pays to be good at academics — literally, if you’re applying for scholarships. Scholarship foundations look at many different factors in academic success. And one key factor is your SAT score. Today, we’ll look at the way SAT scores can lead to scholarships.

What role does the SAT play in scholarships?

So how important is your SAT score when you’re looking for scholarships? Well, this really depends on the scholarship. Some scholarships treat your SAT score as a minor part of the whole picture. You may be able to get a scholarship with a lower SAT score if you have a good academic record, write a powerful application essay, and so on.

Other scholarship granting organizations are a lot more strict, setting specific minimum SAT scores that must be reached. There are some advantages to rigid SAT score requirements though. Quite a few of these less flexible scholarships are guaranteed to applicants who meet a certain SAT score. The Texas State University System guarantees between $16,000 and $21,000 in scholarships on its statewide campuses, provided that scholarship applicants have an SAT score of 1200 or higher and meet certain other minimum criteria. Individual private schools make similar offers as well. In Maryland, Mount St. Mary’s University offers anywhere from $5,000 to $21,000 in guaranteed scholarships for applicants who meet minimum SAT and GPA requirements.

In other cases, needs-based scholarships may be guaranteed simply based on acceptance into a university. This is especially true at top schools. In this scenario, SAT scores have an obvious impact on scholarships. Get an SAT score that assures acceptance, and you’ll also be guaranteed any scholarships that you are eligible for based on income.

How to make sure your SAT score leads to scholarships

The most obvious thing you can do to monetize your SAT score is to aim for a good SAT score by the standards of the schools you apply to. If you’re not sure which schools you’ll apply to yet, it still helps to set your goals high. Aiming for the required SAT score range of the very best schools in the country will help you get accepted and funded on just about any campus.

But there are other steps you can take, too. One important thing to do is research scholarships and the SAT scores required to get them. Probably the best place to research SAT scores and scholarships is the website of the College Board. The College Board is the official sponsor of the SAT, and they have a great search tool for grants and scholarships on their website.

Above all, prepare in advance. Scholarship applications take time, and sometimes a scholarship timeline is longer than the university application timeline itself. So be sure to watch those SAT test dates. Register for your exam early on, so that you have plenty of time to research scholarships and include SAT scores on your scholarship applications.

About David Recine

David is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007 and has worked with students from every continent. Currently, David lives in a small town in the American Upper Midwest. When he’s not teaching or writing, David studies Korean, plays with his son, and takes road trips to Minneapolis to get a taste of city life. Follow David on Google+ and Twitter!

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