When you are looking at the SAT or ACT test for the first time, you'll see something quite surprising. Some of the questions aren't about the test at all! Before the test even begins, and before the timer starts, there are questions your child will need to answer. It's a good idea to review this information with your children before they take the test. These important questions that are not about the test can make a big difference in your child's college career.
Some of the questions are personal - questions about your child's name, parents’ names, address, and email address.
Some of the questions are academic - how many classes has your child taken, and what were their grades.
Some of the questions are about your child's plans - what are their college and career plans, and planned college major.
Homeschoolers tend to be a very private bunch, and it can be hard to give personal information to "just anybody." But I think it is helpful for your student and your family finances to answer almost every question.
The only question I do NOT want you to answer is, "What's your social security number?" Keep that info private no matter what. The ONLY time you need to tell a college your SSN is after your child has decided to attend. At that time they need your tax ID number to give you scholarship money and report the financial exchange to the IRS. Before that, the college does not need your social security number.
Generally speaking, you can pick and choose the questions you want to answer. However, it's best to answer all questions. Answering each question can help colleges send the marketing materials that are the best fit. You want to start receiving these materials to get teenagers excited about college, and to learn more about what colleges, majors, or careers might be interesting. Some colleges may offer to waive the application fee, or even waive the application essay. If you get desperate, then you can pay attention to the colleges that want your child to attend the most, because these are most likely to offer big scholarships.
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Recently Rice University made a huge announcement about their new financial aid program. Let me explain what a full tuition scholarship means to Rice University and how to qualify.