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Getting a better SAT or ACT Composite is such a high stakes game these days. Your test result can determine which school you get into and whether or not you get a scholarship. Each college or university seems to have different requirements for admission and for scholarships. But, almost all of them require a minimum SAT/ACT Composite and minimum GPA in combination. Some also have additional requirements. For example, students may be required to show demonstrated experience in leadership, service, and/or school or community activity.

So, raising your SAT/ACT score as high as possible, along with maintaining a high GPA, will help you get into the college or university of your choice and may lower your college costs considerably through scholarship awards.

Even if you or your family have the financial resources to afford the high cost of college, wouldn't it be much better to save thousands of dollars by getting an academic scholarship?

If you or your family don't have the financial resources, wouldn't it be much better to qualify academically and financially to attend a good four-year college or university instead of attending a community college because of cost considerations?

You will have to check with the admissions office at each college you choose to see what their SAT/ACT composite and GPA requirements are. Although some colleges admit students with lower SAT/ACT composites and GPA's, many highly rated Colleges and Universities require a 24 to 28 or higher and GPA's of 3.0 to 3.5 or higher.

For scholarship requirements, you should check with the scholarship or financial aid departments at each college or university you choose. Requirements vary all over the map, but in general they follow a pattern like this:

ACT Composite 23-26: Some academic scholarships are available starting at this ACT or equivalent SAT score range, depending on your GPA

ACT Composite of 27-28: More scholarships are available, some partial and some full ride scholarships, again depending on your GPA at this ACT or equivalent SAT

ACT Composite of 29-31: Even more scholarships are available, including many full ride packages. Some highly rated universities provide scholarships at this ACT at this ACT or equivalent SAT score range when combined with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

ACT Composite of 32-36: Full ride scholarships are offered at many colleges and universities with an ACT at this ACT or equivalent SAT score in this range along with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Some colleges or universities have a sliding scale for scholarship offers. That is, if you have a very high GPA you can still get a scholarship with a lower SAT/ACT score. On the other hand, if you have a very high ACT composite, you can still get a scholarship even though you have a lower GPA.

Most colleges and universities, however, just have a minimum SAT?ACT score combined with a minimum GPA or High School rank as requirements for a scholarship award.

Here are a few examples:

Auburn University grants $3,000 per year for an SAT/ACT test result of 28 - 29 at this ACT or equivalent SAT and a minimum 3.5 GPA. A 30 - 31 and a GPA of 3.5 or higher you may get a full ride scholarship.

Utah State has the sliding scale mentioned above. If you have a SAT/ACT composite of 20 at this ACT or equivalent SAT, but have a GPA of 4.0, or a 36 with a 2.5 GPA, or anything between those range limits, you can get the non-resident premium of $12,000 waived for the first year. If you have an SAT/ACT composite of 29 at this ACT or equivalent SAT with a 4.0 GPA, or a 36 with a 3.1 GPA, you get 2 years of a full ride scholarship. You can get a four-year full ride scholarship with an ACT score of 31at this ACT or equivalent SAT and a 4.0 GPA, or a ACT composite of 36 at this ACT or equivalent SAT with a 3.5 GPA, or anything in between on a sliding scale.

The University of Missouri awards $2,000 per year if you have a 27 or higher on your SAT/ACT and are in the top 25% of your high school class. If you have a 28 or higher and are in the top 5% of your class, you are awarded $3,500 to $4,500 per year.

The University of Alabama offers out-of-state freshmen $3,500/yr. for an SAT/ACT score of 27 with a 3.5 or higher GPA. They offer $4,000/yr. for a 28 with a 3.5 or higher GPA, $11,975/yr. for a 29 with a 3.5 or higher GPA, and $16,046/yr. for a 30-31 ACT score and a 3.5 or higher GPA.

The University of Indiana has a variety of scholarship awards, including one that offers $6,000 per year if you have a 3.2 GPA or higher and an SAT/ACT score of 23 or higher. If you have an ACT composite of 31 or better and are in the top 5% of your class, you could qualify for up to a full ride.

And, finally, the University of Iowa also offers a wide variety of scholarships, including the Presidential Scholarship that awards $10,000 per year if you have an SAT/ACT score of 30 or higher and a GPA of 3.8 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

It quickly becomes evident that a higher SAT/ACT test result can mean thousands of extra dollars in your pocket because you don't have to spend them on college costs.

If you want more information on scholarships, contact the scholarship or financial aid department directly at the colleges or universities you want to attend.

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