Critics of the use of standardized testing in college admissions point to the disparity between students with resources to prepare for the test and those without. Generally speaking, students in higher income brackets perform better on standardized tests than those in lower income brackets. It is a salient argument against the SAT and ACT that is supported by data. And it is a major reason why so many schools have gone "test optional," even prior to the COVID pandemic.
Yet, even if schools are "test optional," some studies suggest that submitting a good test score can increase your admission chances.
So what if you don't have the resources to pay for test prep? Is there Financial Aid for test prep?
Yes, indeed there is. Truth is, most test prep companies understand the aforementioned disparity and want to do their part to help those who might not normally afford an expensive test prep program.
Consider these five ways you can seek Financial Aid in order to make test prep more affordable and increase your admission chances:
1) Ask: Simply put, ask for it. Call up a test prep company and ask, "Do you provide Financial Aid?" There may be some information on their website about aid but it is usually best to talk to a person so you can understand. Some times, test prep companies will have a formal process to apply for aid. Other times, just by asking, you can access discounts or coupons not necessarily advertised.
2) Bring a Friend: While not officially "financial aid," many test prep companies can give you a deal if you can also get a friend to sign up for a program. Think of its as a win-win: the company gets a new client and you could get a discount. And even some innovative test prep companies might work out a special deal if you help fill a class with your or your parent's personal marketing efforts.
3) Check in with your Counselor: Many times, test prep companies market directly to schools. As such, your school counselor may be aware of what programs are available in your area. Reach out to your counselor to see if s/he knows about upcoming programs, special deals or other ways to access resources.
4) Check in with Community Organizations: Some test prep companies connect directly with community organizations, like a Boys and Girls Club, to provide test prep access to all. Reach out to youth-oriented organizations in your local area to see what they might know.
5) Do It Yourself for FREE: When all else fails, realize that there are many free resources that are accessible to just about anyone.
Truth be told, affordable test prep or access to financial aid for test prep is a phone call, email or click away. Take the time to reach out and see what is available for you.
CROSSWALK is more than willing to help. We offer financial aid for our upcoming Winter Test Prep Series as well as special deals for all programs for those families in need. We also work with local organizations in and around the Monterey Peninsula to make test prep affordable for all. Contact us here to learn more.
CROSSWALK Test Prep & Tutoring is the Monterey Peninsula's local resource for academic tutoring and test prep.