My friends all have college age or soon to be college age children. When the subject of college tuition comes up, it is not a happy topic. The only good news – surprisingly – relates to SAT (and ACT) scores. Good test scores pay for college.
This has nothing to do with financial aid. The median household income in the United States is $51,000. My friends and clients from Guilford, Madison, Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Essex, East Lyme, Waterford and other Shoreline Connecticut towns make so much more money than the median that they will not get financial aid. Merit aid is almost always the only aid received by those from leafy Connecticut suburbs.
How do get merit aid?
Merit aid programs have GPA minimums – which, sorry to say, due to grade inflation, almost everyone meets. Activities – other than for recruited athletes – do not. As I’ve written elsewhere, parents and students suffer needlessly over playing time and parts in the school play. Enjoy those extra-curricular activities. Make friends. Learn a skill. Be part of a team or a cast. But keep in mind that success on the playing field or on the stage usually provides only a small impact on college admission (assuming the student participates in at least some activities) and has no impact at all on merit aid.
The good news: SAT scores correlate heavily with merit awards and if your children get the right training and practice, they will be well positioned to earn a lot of money for college.
Register now for our next SAT-ACT Mastery Seminar.