College Board has announced that it will be awarding scholarships to students not for their SAT scores, but for their efforts in practicing for the SAT and completing the college planning process.
The nonprofit organization will establish a $25 million scholarship program called the College Board Opportunity Scholarships in December, starting with the class of 2020. Over the next five years, students will be awarded around 4,000 scholarships annually.
According to College Board CEO David Coleman, the organization decided to launch the scholarship program to help guide students on the path to college, from taking the SAT to exploring and applying to universities.
The more effort students put in, the more opportunities they will have to earn a scholarship that ranges between $50 and $2,000. To have the chance to win a scholarship, students must follow the six steps for college planning that College Board has laid out on its website before random selections are made.
The first step is for students to explore and build a list of colleges that they are interested in attending. By completing this, students are already eligible to earn a $500 scholarship. Next, if students practice for the SAT on Khan Academy, they can be awarded $1,000.
Students then have the chance to earn a $2,000 scholarship if they show improvement in their SAT scores.
The fourth step is to strengthen their college list by ensuring that the colleges on their list are a combination of safety, fit and reach schools. Safety schools are schools that a particular student is almost positive that they will be accepted at; fit schools are schools those most compatible with the student’s abilities; while reach schools are the ambitious choices that students are not as confident about being admitted into.
In the fifth step, students can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—the government financial aid form—for the opportunity to win $1,000. Lastly, by completing their college applications, students have a chance to earn a $1,000 scholarship.
If students complete all of these steps, they are eligible to win a $40,000 scholarship. The scholarship winners will be chosen randomly in monthly drawings.