I have worked with many students who are planning to take the ACT test for the third, fourth, or even fifth time. Scores increases are not being seen and students are frustrated that ongoing practice is not giving results. The common response is “What’s the difference I know I won’t get any higher” or “I’ve practiced for so long and taken so many tests on my own that it’s just not worth it any more.” It is hard for parents and students to see scores top off, but what many students tend to forget is many colleges look solely at high school GPA and their ACT Score to determine a scholarship. Even 1 point higher on the ACT could mean thousands of dollars more over 4 years!!
For example, take a look at Miami University of Ohio. If a student gets accepted to the university, he or she will be given a merit based scholarship of up to $8000/year for maintaining a 3.7 GPA in high school and an ACT score of 28. That is $32,000 over four years. However, for an ACT score of 29 (only 1 point higher) a student can receive a scholarship of up to $12,000/year. That is $48,000 over four years meaning $16,000 more for scoring just 1 point higher. That means fewer loans to pay off when graduating college or less money parents have to fund for students.
Now I know many students are thinking easier said than done. This is why it is important to seek help when you think prep on your own is not helping to increase the ACT score. Have another pair of eyes look at question types you are having issues with. This could mean talking to a teacher, tutor, or even a test preparation program. Seeking a tutor or program may mean an upfront cost of $500-$2000, but think of the $14000 that could be saved by scoring just one point higher. A higher ACT score also means a larger pool of colleges to apply to.
I know it may be stressful to prep for the ACT over and over again when you have finals or college essays to worry about. Nevertheless, remember all the money that will be saved in college and financial burden taken off of you when graduating.
I have posted a link to a few school across the United States that provide merit scholarships below.