Going To College For Free: How To Get A Full-Ride Scholarship

The long awaited day has come and you’ve graduated from high school.  Although the stress and drama of high school is now over, it’s time to look toward the future and decide if college is right for you.   With the growing expense of tuition

education

education (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

these days, many people simply cannot afford to attend college.   Likewise, with some of the tests that are required to even apply to college (such as the SAT test), it can be expensive just to prepare for them.  Luckily, there are ways to get a full-ride to college, where you don’t have to pay a penny.  In fact, with some programs, you can actually get money for living expenses as well as your tuition and books.  While getting free tuition may take some work, there are a few helpful tips that will assist you through the process.

Academic Performance

There is a good reason to maintain those outstanding grades during high school.  If you have a great academic record, you may be eligible for a full-ride scholarship.  This is where a school or organization funds your education.  When applying for a scholarship, the scholarship committee will consider certain areas of your educational background, such as:

  • Grade point average:  While every scholarship will have different qualifications for applying, many require a minimum grade point average of 3.2.
  • SAT score:  With a perfect score being 2400, many colleges require a score of at least 1500 on the SAT test for you to be considered.  Scoring high on the SAT exam can give you a huge advantage over the other scholarship applicants.
  • Community service:  Schools like to see a well-rounded individual receive the scholarship award.  Participating in community programs shows that you care about the area in which you live and the world around you.
  • High school activities:  Participating in several diverse activities during your high school years looks great on a scholarship application.  Universities love students that are willing to try new things and get involved in the school.

Athletic Performance

Many students can also receive a scholarship based on their athletic performance.   A university or college will award the student a free education in order to have them play on one of their athletic teams.  Being a strong player, as well as a great academic, can help you score that full-ride scholarship.

Federal Aid and Grants

Federal grants can also help you get that college education for little or no money.  The federal government reports that they have $227 billion available to award to qualified college students.  By filling out a FASFA, or free application for student financial aid, the federal government will determine if you are qualified for federal grants to pay for your schooling.

Experts agree that taking an SAT preparation course may help you to increase your SAT score by up to 480 points.  There are many free SAT preparation courses online available to help you maximize your SAT performance and score.   SAT preparation courses will allow you to take an actual SAT practice exam so that you know what to expect on the big day.  The online test preparation makes it easy and convenient to complete.  Take the SAT practice exam as many times as you want.

Applying for various scholarships can take a lot of time and persistence; however, getting a letter telling you that your college education is paid for makes it worth all the while.

 

 

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10 Parallels Between Harry Potter Stories and the SAT College Entrance Exam

1. The Ordinary Wizarding Level exam (O.W.L) and Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests (N.E.W.T.s) require the use of a wand. The SAT requires the use of a #2 pencil and allows the use of approved calculators.

2. At Hogwarts the Sorting Hat separates students into Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff. Colleges use entrance exam scores to sort students for admission offers and scholarships.

3. Putting an enchanted egg underwater helps Harry meet the challenges of the Triwizard Tournament. Taking an SAT prep class can help you maximize your entrance exam score.

4. Harry and other Hogwarts students can take O.W.L. exams in up to twelve areas: charms, transfiguration, herbology, defense against the dark arts, study of ancient runes, divination, potions, care of magical creatures, arithmancy, astronomy, history of magic, and muggle studies. The college entrance exam covers critical reading, math and writing. Twenty different subject tests are also available.

5. Fred and George Weasley often complete each other’s sentences. On the Critical Reading section of the SAT you have to complete sentences.

6. Hermione’s extra studying often helps her gain points for Gryffindore. A free SAT prep course can help you gain points on your college entrance exam.

7. A game of Quidditch ends when the seeker catches the golden snitch. A test session ends when you run out of time.

8. O.W.L. exams have a score range of T (troll) to O (outstanding). SAT exams have a score range of 200 to 800 for each segment, giving a total score range of 600-2400.

9. Harry tricks Lucius Malfoy into giving Dobby a sock, freeing the house elf from servitude. The college entrance exam has no tricks, but a good score help you get into a good college, which can free you from years of low-paying jobs.

10. Harry faced the Avada Kedavra killing curse and survived; you can face the college entrance exam and survive, especially if you prepare by studying and/or taking a free SAT prep course.

Breaking down the SAT math section

Preparing for the SAT math section is an important part of college prep. It is important for students to feel comfortable with the format of the math section and enter the test knowing what to expect.

The SAT math section is scored on a 200 to 800 point scale and accounts for one-third of the overall SAT score. Students are allowed 70 minutes to complete the math section and this time is broken down into one 20-minute section and two 25-minute sections.

The math section is made up of 54 questions. 44 of which are multiple choice and ten of which are grid-in questions. A grid-in question is another word for a student produced response question. The student must come up with the answer to the math problem and write their answer into a special grid.

The math section of the SAT covers basic arithmetic, geometry, and algebra I & II. It is recommended that students study functions, absolute value, sets, exponents, and radical equations, among other concepts. For many students, the SAT math section is likely to involve ideas from math courses that they took several years back in their education. For this reason, is important for students to re-familiarize themselves with these concepts throughout their SAT prep.

Trigonometry is not included in the test. Problems involving triangles can all be solved using knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem and special right triangles. Algebra II is not included on the PSAT, but will be on the SAT. SAT practice tests are the best way to ensure that students are prepared for these questions and familiar with the overall structure of the SAT math section.

While all math problems can be completed without a calculator, it is recommended that students bring an acceptable calculator with them to the SAT. It is often best to use a familiar calculator and to use the same one that they used during their SAT practice tests. It is advisable to put fresh batteries in the calculator before the test and be sure that the calculator is working. Students are not permitted to share calculators during the test.

Acceptable calculators for the SAT math section include graphing calculators and scientific calculators. A four-function calculator is permitted, but not recommended. Students may not use the calculator on a laptop, cell phone, electronic writing pad, or pocket organizer. Also prohibited are any calculators that make noise or have a QWERTY keyboard feature. Students will be asked to put away their calculators during the critical reading and writing sections of the SAT.

A strong SAT prep program is the surest way for students to enter the SAT math section as well-prepared as possible. Students should use the scrap paper provided and not attempt to use a calculator for every question. It is best to work quickly and efficiently in order to complete each section within the allotted time.

Test Day Checklist

It is extremely important to go into your SAT test day confident, calm, and well prepared. Taking SAT practice tests during your study sessions will help ensure that you are familiar with the format of the SAT and allow you to relax and do your best work on test day. Having all the right tools with you on test day will also help you successfully complete the SAT.

Information
Be sure that you know the exact time and location for check-in. If you are unfamiliar with the area, you may consider driving to the test location once ahead of time so that you know how long it will take. This will be one less thing to worry about on test day. You will also need to print your SAT admission ticket from the College Board website and bring it with you for check in on test day.

Photo Identification
You will need to have a proper form of photo identification with you the day of testing. A driver’s license, state-issued photo identification card, school identification card, or passport are all acceptable forms of identification.

Pencils
A number two pencil is required for the SAT and it is suggested that you pack two pencils to be safe. Pens and mechanical pencils are not allowed. Be sure that your pencils are sharpened and ready for use before you arrive at the testing location. A good eraser is also helpful to make clean corrections to your test.

Calculator
You will want to read the requirements for calculators before the day of the test. For the SAT, a graphing or scientific calculator is recommended. A four-function calculator is allowed, but not recommended. Laptop calculators, cell phone calculators, and pocket organizers are not allowed. It is advisable to put fresh batteries in the calculator before the test.

Snack
While certainly not required, you are permitted to bring snacks and drinks with you for the break. Pack a water bottle and a small snack that you can eat to recharge your energy during the break.

Watch
The testing room will generally be equipped with a wall clock, but it is always helpful to have a watch with you on testing day. Turn off any audible alarms before going into the test. A watch will ensure that you can budget your time accordingly and that you will be able to complete the entire test.

The SAT Exam Unveiled

The SAT exam is a student aptitude test which has selected the mediums of math and English in which to test intellectual ability. The SAT is a three hour and forty-five minute test, however, only three hours and twenty minutes count towards your test score, since the practice section takes twenty five minutes and is not graded.

The SAT exam is broken down into ten sections. The reading part encompasses three sections of the exam. In the reading section, there are nineteen questions of sentence completion problems, and forty-eight reading comprehension questions, which is a total of sixty-seven questions in all. The writing part is also three sections of the exam, and includes forty-nine grammar questions and one essay. Discounting the experimental section, the math section encompasses the last three parts of the test. In it are forty-four multiple choice questions and ten grid-in questions, making a total of fifty four questions. In short, the sections are as follows:

- Reading
1. Completing the sentence (19 questions)
2. Reading comprehension (48 questions)

- Writing
1. Short Essay
2. Identifying sentence errors*
3. Improving sentences*
4. Improving paragraphs*
* In the writing section there is one short essay question. The other three sections can be divided up as the test writer sees fit, but all are focusing on grammar.

-Math
1. Multiple choice, encompassing basic math and equations (44 questions)
2. Grid-in, such as plotting graphs and lines (10 questions)

-Experimental section
The experimental section can be contained within any part of the test, on any subject. It usually contains harder questions, but these questions aren’t scored. They are being considered for use on next year’s SATs. So if you run into questions that are especially harder or more confusing than the others, don’t worry- they may be the experimental ones.

The three sections of the SAT test are scored independently, which means that students will receive a reading score, a writing score, and a math score. Each score can range from 200 to 800 points, with a total test score of 600 to 2400 points. The total average score for students is 1500, or about 500 on each section.

But how do you achieve these scores? The key is to pace yourself and to practice. Pacing is important on the SAT because, though time is strictly limited, many of the questions require careful analyzing and consideration. Many students make the mistake of reading too quickly in hopes of gathering the gist of the question. They answer confidently, but are startled to find later that they answered incorrectly because they have misunderstood the directions or missed subtle points within the question. This of course means that it is important for students to take as much time as possible and to be confident in their answers before moving on to the next problem.

In order to perform to the best of their abilities, it is crucial for students to undergo SAT test preparation. Test prep is proven to raise test scores because students will be prepared not only for the type of questions listed within the SAT exam, but they will also be comfortable answering a large amount of questions in a seemingly short time limit. SAT practice books are readily available, but the most cost effective way for a student to practice is to visit an SAT test preparation website and practice taking the test online. Bline Test Prep is an excellent website for test preparation- it is affordable, easily accessible, and chock full of up-to-date data and questions for the SAT test preparation courses.

Taking the SAT can be an ominous task. However, it is of vital importance to any student wishing to be accepted into the majority of colleges. With the proper practice and resources, the SAT is not as foreboding as it may seem upon first glance. All it takes is a little practice and a bit of knowledge about the test and the sort of questions found therein. Online SAT test preparation sites such as Bline Test Prep will give students the confidence they need to do their best on the SAT test and succeed at getting their best possible scores.


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