College SAT

This page contains some little known facts about the college entrance SAT test and the SAT subject tests.    Remember when 1600 was a perfect score?  Well, now 2400 is (a third subject test was added).

Real Stories

Story #1:  A friend with a very smart 11th grader received a 1990 on his SAT. He was satisfied - that is a very good score. His son was thinking about Purdue and I told him that a score between 1850 and 1990 gets you an "automatic" $20,000 scholarship over 4 years, but a score of 2000 would get a $32,000 scholarship over 4 years. Ten more measly points would be worth $12,000. He had no idea, but is now negotiating with his son to take the SAT a second time.  Continue reading below to learn more about these "automatic" scholarships.

Story #2:  My daughter took the SAT a third time. She raised her score again, this time up to the average Purdue freshman nursing applicant. She took it a forth time and raised it to 1790. Very good, now she will get into Purdue's nursing program for sure. However, Purdue gives an "automatic" scholarship of $20,000 (described below) over 4 years if you have a SAT score between 1850 and 1990. She knows little about money but most people would have to bring home $30,000 (before taxes) to pay $20,000 to Purdue.   However, she does know about clothes. The deal: take it again, raise your score to 1850, and I will buy you any UGG boots you want.   She raised it to 1860, and I paid $45 for the SAT test, $160 for UGG boots, and now we have reduced her college cost by $20,000.

What You Should Do
  1. Sign up for the SAT is here:
  2. Buy a SAT book and make your kid study.   Here is a link for SAT study guides:  Amazon SAT Books
  3. Give your kid incentives.    UGG boots?   Money?  Pizza Party?  You know what rocks their world.
  4. No site says this, but trust me on this one.   Plan to take the SAT at least 4 times (end of sophomore year, fall Junior year, spring of junior year, and very early fall senior year).   Why?   Because of this LITTLE KNOWN FACT:   Your SAT score is the best scores of each section of ANY test.  For example, if your scores were 600 (English), 400 (Math), 350 (writing) for a total of 1350 on the first SAT, and a 400 (English), 600 (Math), 350 (Writing)  for a total of 1350 on the second SAT, your new total would not be 1350, it would be 1550!!!!.   They take your highest English (600), the  highest Math (600) and the highest Writing (350) to calculate your SAT score (1550).    There is absolutely no penalty for taking the test multiple times. 
  5. Take the SAT while in school, not at the end of summer break.   Kid's brains tend to get rusty.
  6. Why is a good score important?   First, the higher the score the better chance you will be accepted to the college you like.   Second, check out the "automatic" scholarships below.
Automatic (or Merit) Scholarships

Many colleges give out "automatic" scholarships for good SAT scores.   These "automatic" scholarships are NOT need-based and no special application needs to be filled out.   Just by applying (with the normal college application) you are able to receive these "automatic" scholarships.     Many colleges simply check your SAT scores and will give students these scholarships.  The secret is:  you MUST apply early (I recommend August and September on Senior year) and you MUST have a certain SAT score, which is different at each school.   That is why you should take the SAT 4 times.  

Check out these pages for Indiana University and Purdue University (two Indiana state schools) for their automatic scholarships.  Note that these pages are hard to get to, so book mark them or this page.  Other schools have this same information.

More Info

Another great site for time lines, paying for college, and a section for Indiana colleges: