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Automatic Academic Scholarships

Did you know that some colleges link scholarship amounts directly to a student's ACT® or SAT® score? They set a minimum SAT® score and if the student meets or exceeds it, they receive automatic academic scholarships, often thousands of dollars per year, which could add up to tens of thousands of dollars over four years!

Sometimes these scholarships are based on the entire score, and sometimes they are based on only one or two sections of the tests. The parameters of these automatic academic scholarships change often, so be sure to check yearly, in case they change before your child is ready to apply. All scholarships will require a homeschool transcript. Check out our free Homeschool Transcript Template and Record Keeping Samples.

The parameters can also be complicated. Sometimes they are based on the highest section score, regardless of the date taken. So, if your child takes the test twice and tests better on the math section the first time around, that score will be used. If the language score is better the second time around, it will be the score counted for the scholarship. Your child could study for the math section heavily, then take the test. Then study for the reading and writing section heavily, and take the test again. Simple study, or even just having a "good day" when taking the test for the second time, can make a difference of thousands of dollars per year.
I suggest that parents have their children study for the SAT® or ACT® during junior year. Take the SAT® or ACT® early in the spring of junior year. Repeat the test again later in junior year, in June. That will give your child the best chance of earning college scholarships. When you're checking out colleges your child may like to attend, watch for automatic academic scholarships that will help make college more affordable! Let me show you just one example, from the many colleges that offer automatic scholarships.
University of Alabama Out-of-State Scholarships for 2022

27 ACT® or 1260-1290 SAT® plus 3.00-3.49 GPA = $6,000
28 ACT® or 1300-1320 SAT® plus 3.00-3.49 GPA = $7,000
29 ACT® or 1330-1350 SAT® plus 3.00-3.49 GPA = $8,000
30-36 ACT® 1360-1600 SAT® plus 3.00-3.49 GPA = $9,000
29 ACT® or 1330-1350 SAT® plus 3.50 and above GPA =$9,000
30-36 ACT® 1360-1600 SAT® plus 3.50 and above GPA = Full Tuition
36 ACT® or perfect 1600 SAT® plus 4.0 or above GPA = Full Tuition
From this one college's example, you can see how studying for the SAT® or ACT® can earn guaranteed scholarships for SAT® scores above 1260 and ACT® above 27. If your child scored a 26 on the ACT®, and studies just a LITTLE bit more and took it again, it could save you $6000. That means $24,000 over the four years of college. Think about that for a moment! Test prep that will PAY you $24,000 is a very good use of your time. Look at how increasing the score can boost scholarships up even higher when the student does a LOT of study. The more your child studies, the more scholarships they can earn. It's definitely worth it!

Notice that the GPA is considered in automatic scholarships. Providing a GPA for your homeschooled student is important to earning automatic scholarships. Be sure your homeschool transcript includes real grades for every class, and a carefully calculated GPA.

This college also lists automatic perks for the highest possible test scores. With a perfect SAT® or ACT® score, the student is guaranteed full tuition, plus one year of on-campus housing, $1000 per year supplement for four years, $2000 toward a study abroad, and $500 per year toward books. They also carefully list additional scholarship amounts if the student is a National Merit Finalist. Those students get tuition for five full years, plus four years of housing, and a $3500 per year stipends. In other words, they will pay you to attend college there.
Whether you receive an automatic scholarship or are awarded an unexpected amount, be sure to find out if it is renewable every year. Will your student get this just one time, or every year? If it is renewable, find out what is required for it to be renewed. Usually there is a required GPA the student must achieve in order for the scholarship to renew each year. With hard work, most students can almost guarantee that they can maintain a 3.0 GPA. Even with hard work, though, it's almost impossible to be sure a student might possibly maintain a 3.5 GPA in college classes, since they are so much more difficult than high school classes.

If you have already applied to college, and received scholarships that were not what you are hoping for, sometimes the quickest and easiest way to decrease college costs is to take the SAT® or ACT® again, with lots of diligent test preparation.

Have you found any automatic academic scholarships when checking out colleges? Please share!
SAT®, AP®, and CLEP® are trademarks owned by the College Board, which is not affiliated with and does not endorse this blog post or The HomeScholar, LLC.
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Comments 1

Steffi Kellam on Wednesday, 15 March 2023 08:17

The state of Georgia awards partial or full tuition scholarships for all GA public universities to homeschool students based on SAT/ACT scores. They also offer partial tuition for private schools in GA.

The state of Georgia awards partial or full tuition scholarships for all GA public universities to homeschool students based on SAT/ACT scores. They also offer partial tuition for private schools in GA.
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