The metaphor of “many moving parts” to describe a highly complex operation can be applied to many tasks in life, including college admissions. The entire process–from choosing schools to earning top SAT & ACT scores to completing the application–can take months or even years, yet still result in frustration and failure. How can we encourage teens to lean into the college admissions process in a proactive and effective fashion? College Board has an idea: MONEY.
That’s right, the organization behind the SAT has created College Board Opportunity Scholarships to celebrate and reward the effort students put into getting ready for college:
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO?
College Board will reward six steps in the college admissions process. By completing each step, students become eligible for the scholarship associated with that step. Students who complete all six steps are also eligible for the seventh Complete Your Journey scholarship.
1. Build Your College List
2. Practice for the SAT
3. Improve Your Score
4. Strengthen Your College List
5. Complete the FAFSA
6. Apply to Colleges
HOW MUCH MONEY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?
Completing any of the six steps establishes eligibility for its associated scholarship, which ranges in value from $500 to $2000. The Complete Your Journey scholarship is $40,000. All in all, College Board anticipates awarding at least $2.5 million in Opportunity Scholarships.
AM I ELIGIBLE?
The Scholarship Program is open to most high school juniors (as of December 5, 2018) in the United States or U.S. territories with College Board online accounts. This program is open to students regardless of their family income, but at least half of all the scholarships will be designated for students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year.
College Board defines itself as a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success. As the creator of popular tests like the SAT, PSAT, Subject Tests, and AP exams, this organization takes in many millions a year in test fees. In the absence of shareholders, why not share the wealth with the college-bound high schoolers at the heart of the College Board’s mission?
College Board Opportunity Scholarships seem to provide extraordinary incentive for students to engage in the college admissions process with the kind of methodical forethought that leads to greater success. Offering money for college while walking students through the right steps to access college opportunities might just change the lives of teens all across this country. We’re early in this process, but the College Board has, at the very least, earned respect for a bold, innovative idea. Now let’s find out if College Board Opportunity Scholarships turn out to be as impressive as they sound.