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Reporting SAT Scores To Colleges

Reporting SAT Scores To Colleges

Reporting SAT Scores To Colleges

I was just talking to one of my Gold Care Club members about the cost of sending SAT scores to colleges. Without planning, it can get pricey

When you register for the SAT test, the student can indicate up to four college recipients during registration. Only four score sends are included with your registration; you have to pay to send additional scores. I believe that it is $11-$12 per college when you send additional scores.  You will have to pay that amount per college if you don't indicate colleges when you register, also, and if you have more that 4 colleges where you are applying.  You can learn more about score reporting from the college board here:

You can see how the cost of applying to college can add up quickly and be expensive.  Think of it as part of your "college budget" and an investment in college costs to reduce the overall amount you need to pay, and reduce the overall student loan you might need. If the cost is burdensome, you can request a fee waiver based on family income. Read more about that here:  Fee Waivers for Tests and Applications

When you take a test like the SAT, ACT, AP, SAT Subject Tests or CLEP, make sure your child has practiced and will score well before sending them to take the real test. The reason I suggest that is to make sure the colleges will see good scores being sent, not practice scores.  Take the test at home a few times, timed, so you know they will do well.  If your child has learning challenges, or you are not sure how they will perform during the test, then it may be worth it financially to wait until you see the scores before sending them to a college.

Let me save you some money on reporting test scores. It's cheaper to choose your four favorite colleges first, before they take the test, where you know your child will reply. Then make sure your child has prepared for the test, and that the "worst case scenario" scores really aren't that bad. Then, list those colleges when you register for the test, so the scores are sent directly while it is free. I suggest your student take the SAT or ACT twice in the spring of their junior year - so the second time, you will have the option of sending it to different colleges, in case your college choices have changed. Then in senior year, as you are applying to colleges, you will have fewer places where you must pay to send those scores.

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How Homeschoolers Measure Up: Comparing Percentiles

How Homeschoolers Measure Up: Comparing Percentiles

How Homeschoolers Measure Up with Test Scores

Homeschoolers tend to do GREAT on standardized test scores. For example: on average, homeschoolers score above the 79th percentile in reading. But what does that mean to you? How does your homeschooler measure up? Are you average? Of course not!

Homeschooling alone can't guarantee that your child will score in the 79th percentile in reading, because every child is unique! But what homeschooing CAN do, is allow your child to learn as much as they can. They are likely to score better than they would have scored if they attended a public school. You see, homeschoolers can modify education to fit the child's needs. A homeschool parent can make sure their child is always challenged, but never overwhemed. This comes from the unique ability to set a schedule based on one specific child. Instead of moving them forward at a set rate, whether they learn the material or not, a homeschool parent can take time where it is needed.  And THAT will lead to great test scores!

Don't worry about the percentile of your child compared to other homeschooled children. Instead, focus on the education of your child. Know that educating your children can help them score better on those tests than you could have ever dreamed possible - no matter where they may be on the bell-shaped curve.

Test Scores Aren't Everything!

When I was homeschooling, my best friend had children with learning challenges. They were never able to score above the 50th percentile. But they were well educated, and had a marvelous work ethic. As adults, they are successful, with bachelor’s degrees from respected colleges. They each have a lovely family and a great job at a stable company. They were successful because of homeschooling.

Homeschooling works. Even if you aren't in the 79th percentile. So you don’t have to worry about how homeschoolers measure up, because they do!

PS - Check out this great infographic below!

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How Much For This Test Score?

How Much For This Test Score?

I wish I could give nice, concrete, set-in-stone answers for everyone.  Especially when it comes to money, it's so important to get answers.  But paying for college is a lot like buying a house.  It requires a lot of estimation as well as serious research.

Are there any charts out there that break down SAT and ACT  scores and scholarship dollars?  I understand that all colleges do not cost the same and the dollar amount in scholarships offered would vary, but isn't there some type of generic guideline? ~ Chris

There are no general guidelines, and no charts I can provide that tie test scores to money.  A regular college in my area will offer about $8-10,000 off tuition for certain SAT or ACT scores.  An Ivy league school, or very selective school might not offer anything.  A highly rated college in North Dakota or Alabama might offer a full ride scholarships for the same SAT or ACT score.  The only way to estimate your cost is to look up scholarship information on each college where you plan to attend.  All you can do to get your own generic guidelines based on the colleges where your child will apply.  Even similar schools in similar areas will have dramatically different offers.

Some colleges will give automatic academic scholarships based on SAT or ACT scores.  Other times the college admission adviser or representative may have some discretion. That's why I'm always preaching about the big ideas for scholarship success:
1. Apply early
2. First-come is first-served
3. Do it their way
4. Make it easy


College admission contacts have money to give.  Your job is to offer them a reason to give it to you.

Learn how to save money homeschooling with my free Special Report: “7 Secrets to Homeschooling Through a Financial Storm.”
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Reach, Fit and Safety Colleges

Reach, Fit and Safety Colleges

Ah statistics!  You gotta love 'em!  Except when you don't....


But if you DO like numbers, this blog post is for you!  Let me explain the concept of "reach, fit, and safety" for math lovers!

To find a reach, fit, and safety college, you have to look at "Admissions Data" found online and in books.  Little tip; just Google the school name and the words "admission data" and you'll find it. Then compare it to your child's test scores to the college test scores.  That's all well and good, except some places make it seem all mathematical and confusing, as if you needed a degree in statistics to really understand it.  For example, they may list test scores by indicating 25th/75th Percentile.  Here is an example:

Admissions Data Example

Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile

SAT Critical Reading: 520 / 630
SAT Math: 520 / 625
SAT Writing: 510 / 620

ACT Composite: 22 / 28
ACT English: 22 / 29
ACT Math: 22 / 27

Let me explain what it all means, using this example.
It says say SAT Math: 520 / 625.

The lower number comes from students who are attending that college.
25% of kids attending that college scored below 520 when they took the Math SAT in high school.
25% of kids attending that college scored above 625 when they took the Math SAT in high school.
50% of kids attending that college scored between 520 and 625 when they took the Math SAT in high school.

Quick and easy solution; when they say SAT Math: 520 / 625, turn the line on the side.

25th/75th Percentile Scores 520 / 625
Means that most kids score 520 - 625.
If your child is in that range, they are a "fit" for that school when it comes to Math.

If your child scores below 520 on the SAT Math, they might still get in, but it's less likely.  That's a reach.
If your child scores between 520-625 on the SAT Math, they are likely to get in.  That's a fit.
If your child scores above 625 on the SAT Math, they are very likely to get in. That's a safety.

If you hate numbers, let me explain in words.

Reach School: The SAT or ACT score range is higher than your score OR school is highly selective, and you meet the other college requirements
Fit School: The SAT or ACT score range is about the same as yours, and you meet the other college requirements
Safety School: SAT or ACT score range is less than yours, and you exceed their requirements

Do you like getting this sort of help for homeschooling high school?  Gold Care Club members get extended answers to their most challenging high school issues.  Homeschooling is NOT the same as doing schoolwork at home.  There is LOTS of freedom!  My Gold Care Club will give you all the help you need to succeed!

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Do you REALLY need that test?

Do you REALLY need that test?

The SAT and ACT are college admission tests, used for college admission purposes.  Some colleges will want those test scores even if your child is older, in order for them to enter for an undergraduate degree.  Because it's hard to forecast the future, I suggest giving one of those tests to students regardless of the situation.  Although it's relatively painless to take the test as a high school student, it would be much more painful to take the test 4 years from now, when much of the information is only a foggy and forgotten memory.

Some families feel they might possibly avoid the tests.  With children attending community college, or pursuing dual enrollment through CollegePlus it can seem unlikely.  Although CollegePlus or Community College can help get a degree started, some students (not all) end up wanting to transfer to a brick and mortar school.

My motto is "always be prepared."

Are you my Facebook friend?  Please send me a friend request.  I would love to get to know you better.
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Test Scores vs. Values

Test Scores vs. Values
"Failure" in a homeschool doesn't have anything to do with a test score.   Our family has a motto:  "never compare, someone always gets hurt."  This is particularly true when comparing your child's test scores to someone else, or comparing your homeschool to someone else.  In fact, "Failure" isn't about test scores at all.
Jeremiah 9:23-24

This is what the LORD says:

"Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom

or the strong man boast of his strength

or the rich man boast of his riches,

but let him who boasts boast about this:

that he understands and knows me,

that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,

justice and righteousness on earth,

for in these I delight,"

declares the LORD.

The things that truly matter involve the character and values we instill in our children.  Within the great diversity of children, there is that "bell shaped curve" of normal intelligence.  There will always be people on both sides of the academic bell shaped curve, because that is the variety that God has given us with our children.  Homeschooling is a great way to educate your children, and can lead to the best possible academic success for each individual child.  That does not mean, however, that everyone's test scores will be higher that the 50th percentile.  That only happens in Lake Wobegon, where every child is above average, LOL!

But the Lord doesn't look at comparative test scores.  He looks at faith, kindness, justice, and righteousness.  Teach values, and don't boast of wisdom or compare test scores.  Someone always gets hurt.

Let’s be friends on Facebook!

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High School Math - How Fast Can You Run?

High School Math - How Fast Can You Run?

One mom wrote to me, concerned that her child's SAT scores might be low because he hadn't yet finished Algebra 2.  She wondered if they would be better off rushing through Algebra 2 at break-neck speed, hoping to increase his test scores.

I do think that being 1/2 way through Algebra 2 may have affected the scores.  When finished with the course, math section scores should increase.  It can help if you re-take the test in June, rather than March or May.  That will allow for the maximum amount of time to learn Algebra 2 AND practice the math portion.

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