College Scholarships Based on ACT & SAT Scores

by Dannelle F. Walker
Students with high SAT or ACT scores have access to many scholarship opportunities.

Most colleges require applicants to take either the ACT or SAT to be accepted into a college or university. The highest score on the ACT is 36, with the average ranging between 20 and 21. On the SAT, the highest score is 2,400 with an average score of 1,500. The great majority of colleges and universities offer full scholarships to students who have high ACT and SAT scores and high GPAs. Some colleges require separate application for scholarships, while others look at the information in the application and the scores to determine whether a scholarship will be awarded. In addition to scholarship money, some schools offer additional perks in excess of the scholarship amount awarded.

The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University offers the Eminence Fellowship Program and Scholarship to 25 students with high SAT or ACT scores. To be eligible, applicants should rank in the top 3 percent of their graduating classes and have an ACT composite score of 34 or higher or a combined SAT critical reading and math score of 1,520 or higher. At the time of publication, scholarship awardees received the full cost of attending Ohio State and an additional $3,000 stipend. To be considered for the scholarship, Ohio State applicants must indicate their interest in the scholarship and complete an essay. The university will screen those who indicate interest and send a separate application for the Eminence Fellowship. After completing the application and once the application is screened, the top 75 applicants are invited to interview.

The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama offers the Academic Elite Scholarships to applicants who have an ACT score of 32 or an SAT score of 1,400 and a high school GPA of 3.8. To be considered for these scholarships, students must be members of the University Fellows Experience and maintain membership for their entire college career. In addition to full tuition, scholarship recipients receive an $8,500 stipend per year and an iPad. To receive the scholarship, students must be accepted into the University of Alabama and apply for the Honors College and the University Fellows Experience. To apply for the Honors College, students must be nominated by a high school representative or University of Alabama faculty member.

Howard University Presidential Scholarship

The Howard University Freshman Scholarship Program provides scholarships to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement throughout high school and will attend Howard University. The Presidential Scholarship is the university's most-generous scholarship and provides tuition, fees, room and board, a $950 book voucher and a laptop. To be eligible, applicants must have an SAT score of between 1,500 and 1,600 or an ACT score between 34 and 36 and at least a 3.75 GPA. Applicants to Howard University are automatically considered for these scholarships without a separate application.

The University of Southern California

The Stamps Leadership Scholarships are provided by the University of Southern California to students who have SAT or ACT scores in the top 1 or 2 percent of the country. At the time of publication, students receive full tuition and a $5,000 stipend. Applicants must submit the common admissions application and a writing supplement. Those who are selected for an interview will be contacted by the office of admissions.

About the Author

A native of Nashville, Tenn., Dannelle F. Walker is an education lawyer and policy maker. Her areas of expertise include teacher liability, educator ethics, and school operations. She holds a JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

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