The SAT has reached something of a legendary status among high school students across the nation. Each year, thousands of college hopefuls take the SAT, envisioning their fate hinged on the success of their performance. For many, the SAT becomes the pinnacle of their academic profile, and for good reason; the SAT score is not simply another number on a college application. A polished SAT score opens more than just college doors; it also opens wallets in the form of scholarships.
While it is certainly true that there is a wide array of college scholarships available, many of these scholarships require a specific SAT range to apply. SAT scores can both increase odds of qualifying for these scholarships and provide new opportunities for scholarships more focused on SAT performance. In addition, many scholarships that do not emphasize SAT scores award money based on financial need rather than academic performance, which can sometimes disqualify students from middle income families. Furthermore, in the world of academic performance evaluation, the SAT reflects a unified, equal assessment where performance is easily measurable by scholarship committees. After all, grades alone can reflect so many different areas of study since not all students take the same classes. With the SAT, all students are tested and evaluated on the same material, thus the playing field is level for all students.
The majority of merit based scholarships available require an SAT score to qualify for an award. For example, in Las Vegas both the UNLV Excellence Scholarship and the Rebel Achievement Scholarship require an SAT score of at least 1,350 for critical reading and math to be considered as a candidate. Neglecting the importance of SAT scores closes off a wealth of scholarship opportunities that would otherwise be available.