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Merit/financial aid tied to standardized test scores??

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A friend who has primarily unschooled her sixteen year old son and I have been talking about the college application process. She is considering having her son skip the SAT/ACT/SAT-II/AP testing game and just have him submit a portfolio to those schools which do not require standardized tests.


I provided one cautionary note based on my son's top choice of the moment, a liberal arts college which will admit students without test scores, but will not consider them for merit/financial aid unless scores are submitted. With tuition and fees running roughly $45K a year at many private colleges, aid of some form is a necessity. This threw a monkey wrench into my friend's plans, although I confessed that I did not know if most colleges follow the same protocol.


Any experience out there among you WTMers? Have any of you gotten around standardized testing requirements at an engineering university or four year LAC (not CC)? Was merit aid granted without tests?


As usual, your input is appreciated.



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I would definitely advise your friend to Check With the College.


I have heard anecdotal stories of people being given great scholarships to great schools without test scores, but usually they are students who have already invented something, single-handedly provided water to remote villages or otherwise significantly affected their universe....


Just my $.02....



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Yep--I agree. Ds is looking at some private colleges and there is quite a bit of money available to kids with good test scores. In fact, he recently took a practice ACT and scored a 27 composite. He was pretty excited that as a 9th grader he was already qualified for $9000 a year at one of his possible choices! (Whitworth College in Spokane, WA)http://www.whitworth.edu/Administration/FinancialAid/ScholarshipOpportunities/AcademicScholarships.htm

I told him by the time he applies he should qualify for their highest award, $12,000 a year. :D


Others we've looked at are SPU http://www.spu.edu/depts/ugadm/applyingtospu/scholarships.asp


George Fox http://www.georgefox.edu/offices/stu_fin_srv/merit.html


Roberts-Wesleyan http://www.roberts.edu/Admissions/FinancialAid/RWC/


and Biola http://www.biola.edu/undergrad/financialaid/scholarships.cfm


All of these offer significant dollars to students with high test scores and gpas.

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I don't have any experience with trying for scholarships without test scores. We have lots of experience, though, with scholarships being awarded on test scores or some combination of scores & GPA (even homeschool GPA). My 1st daughter attended a private college with a major scholarship based on national merit finalist status. My 2nd daughter has a full tuition scholarship at an OOS public university based on test scores & GPA. The *scores* definitely made their attendance financially possible since we are not eligible for subsidized loans and refuse to borrow money against our house to send our children to college.

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I second what Marie says -- we cannot afford to pay what the colleges say we should (details not worth exploring here)....but my kids both received multiple full tuition and/or full-ride scholarships. The scholarships were linked (depending on the school) to GPA, SAT scores, general test scores, essays, and personal interviews. My kids did the standard tests, SAT-II's, AP's, 4-year college courses, etc. They played the game.


UPitt, which offered my ds full-ride, did not offer a friend's daughter ANY aid. She attended a small private exclusive school in the DC area and just missed being in the top 10% of the class, so even though the school body is quite exclusive, her not being in the top 10% resulted in NO aid. UPitt at least is quite numbers-driven in its aid.


As a homeschooler, I would be reluctant to try to nail heavy scholarship aid without test scores.

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ds chose to go to the state engineering school which is local to us and has ties to industry in the area. He would not have qualified for the scholarships that required community leadership/interview/personality-based skills, as he has had no time to do anything but study due to his LDs, and he is a matter-of-fact engineering type, not one of those kids that ooze instantaneous charisma and charm. However, he is bright, so he had good SATs and a good GPA. Our state university awards merit scholarships first on numbers, and later, for upperclassmen, on their work/accomplishments/relationships they build at the university. Like one of the other posters said, it is strictly a numbers game. Everyone over xxx gpa and yyy SAT gets $ZZZ. He received three different merit scholarships, but without the SAT score, he would not have been eligible for two of them.


Your friend's kid might do better finding $$ based on a portfolio at a PLAC than at a state school.



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