Scholarships and the ACT: How to Apply and What to Score



For students who are juniors or seniors in high school, it’s time to start thinking about ACT scores and possible scholarships.

How to Find and Apply For Scholarships

While getting a top score on the ACT isn’t easy, it is simple. Or at least, the process for taking the ACT is simple compared to the process of hunting for scholarships.

Finding the right scholarship is complicated because scholarship money comes from so many sources. And of course, every scholarship foundation has different application requirements. When it comes to finding the right scholarships and figuring out how to apply for them, it’s hard to know where to start.

Fortunately, there are a lot of resources to help you on your scholarship hunt. For one thing, many scholarships are specific to one university. Every university you apply to has a scholarship page on its website. This page will include a full list of scholarships just for students at that school, complete with eligibility requirements and application instructions.

There are actually a lot fewer state and national college scholarships, compared to the number of single-school scholarships. Still, larger-scale scholarships can be a significant source of college funding too. One of the best tools for finding larger scale scholarships actually comes from the “other” university entrance exam provider. That’s right, I’m talking about the college Board, the maker of the SAT. If you look at the College Board’s Scholarship Search website, you can find all sorts of state and national scholarships. The site’s custom search tools help students find scholarships that match their personal eligibility. This search portal can be used to look up both SAT and ACT score requirements for specific scholarships.

And while we’re talking about other college-related tests, be sure to look into National Merit Scholarship options. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that national Merit Scholarships are only connected to PSAT scores. This scholarship network also gives out extra awards to students who have top scores on both the PSAT and the ACT. (Top SAT scores are useful too!) For more information, check out the National Merit Scholarship Corporation website.

What ACT Scores Do you Need for Scholarships?

Now that’s the big question, isn’t it? There’s really no one answer to that question. If an ACT score is good enough to get someone into a university somewhere, it’s good enough to get them some kind of scholarship.

Still, for the biggest, best selection of scholarships, you’ll want to aim for an ACT score of at least 30. And the higher above 30, the better. The most competitive scholarships tend to require an ACT score of 33+.

To get that top score and get access to as many scholarships as possible, you’ll want to study, study, study. Preparation is everything when it comes to ACT success and scholarship readiness. That’s where a site like Magoosh ACT can really help you. Go to Magoosh to read up on important ACT Math topics, tips for ACT English, ACT Reading, and ACT Science, and advice about the ACT Essay.


Today’s guest post is provided by David Recine of Magoosh. Magoosh is an online test prep company that offers affordable study programs and apps for the standardized tests.

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