The College Process is excited to announce its next great project – a FREE video tutorial website coming this summer. These academic English videos are three to ten minutes in length and teach all aspects of English: grammar, sentence structure, essay writing, vocabulary, and reading skills.
- This video tutorial website will be dedicated to providing all students with the ability to learn reading and writing skills that will enable them to do better in middle school, in high school, on standardized tests, and in college.
- This website will be free to all students; however, it will have a registration feature that will enable students to login to the site, view the videos, and track their progress.
- The goal of the website is to give all students, regardless of where they live or what school they go to, an equal opportunity to learn the reading and writing skills that will prepare them to get into college and stay in college for all four years.
Please check back this summer for our totally redesigned website!
While drinking my morning coffee, I started reading the latest issue of Lacrosse Magazine, which comes to my house because both of my sons, ages 7 and 9, are registered lacrosse players. My husband had told me just days before to read the article “It’s Not about YOU,” in this most recent issue because, as he said, “it helped to put things into perspective” for him. While typically having limited time to read magazines, I decided it was worth it based on his response.
When I opened to the article and read the sub-title, “Five things parents need to know about our sport,” I was intrigued. I proceeded to read the “first” of the five things, which is that “there’s no pot of gold at the end of the recruiting rainbow.” Now, to be completely transparent here, my husband and I have had this conversation so many times over the last three years, since both of our boys are very athletic and LOVE playing sports. We have often discussed the idea of one (or both!) of them getting a scholarship and how wonderful that would be. However, we always end this conversation in a somewhat joking way because we both know the extreme cost of college and that our 529 college contributions are not nearly big enough. So, we laugh and joke, “maybe sports will save us.”
The sobering reality, as Matt Forman the author of this article states, is that “any high school athlete has a 6-percent chance of playing college varsity sports in any division and 3.7-percent chance of Division I (which is the division that offers scholarships), according to a recent Wall Street Journal article.” So, out goes our dream of a scholarship and back to reality I go, as I quickly recalculate how much we should be saving for college. The fact of the matter is that we, along with the majority of the people in the United States, do not make enough income to save enough to pay for our three kids’ entire college education.
Now, let me back up for a minute and explain that because of my profession, helping students and parents navigate the college process, I have seen so many kids go down the college sports’ recruiting path only to be totally disappointed with the results. Since I have witnessed many, many kids fall victim to this sports’ scholarship frenzy, I do hold a realistic outlook for my own kids. In fact, while I am an enthusiastic supporter of my kids playing sports, I also only want them to play if THEY enjoy the sport. It is so easy for a nine year old to become specialized in one sport, and there are many organizations and companies out there selling us parents on the idea that if your son or daughter dedicates his or her time to lacrosse or soccer or whatever, at such a young age, then he or she will be recruited. However, at nine or ten or eleven, kids should be playing what they love and want they want. They should be given the opportunity to explore many sports, and then pick and choose the ones that they want to focus on in high school. Otherwise, burn-out is nearly inevitable. In fact, we could spend all of our time and money focusing our kid on one sport only to have him or her decide that, “you know what, I don’t even want to play in college,” which is exactly what happened with me and soccer.
So, as I watch my son score a touchdown for his tackle football team and my other son score a goal or two or three for his soccer team, I can rest my head at night knowing that they are playing several different sports, learning teamwork, getting great exercise, and just being kids. Thank you, Matt Forman, for letting me know that the “odds of any high school male landing any Division I scholarship is 0.89-percent.” Now, we can all just relax and enjoy our kids’ childhoods again!
“Superscoring” is a relatively new college admission term that means taking different sections of either the SAT test or the ACT test and counting those individual sections while reviewing a student’s college application, rather than just looking at one individual test date’s score.
Superscoring & The SAT:
Historically, college admission counselors have superscored the SAT while reviewing applications; however, not all colleges superscore. Some colleges, such as Penn State University and the University of Michigan, only consider the best score out of 2400 for any one test day. These colleges will NOT mix and match the individual sections. With that said, however, most college do in fact superscore. Therefore, if you took the SAT on three different test dates, such as March, May, and June, the colleges will mix and match your best sections. To give a clear example, let’s look at the following scenario:
- March SAT Test Scores: 560 (critical reading), 500 (math), 650 (writing)
- May SAT Test Scores: 560 (critical reading), 480 (math), and 620 (writing)
- June SAT Test Scores: 600 (critical reading), 550 (math), and 600 (writing)
In the above scenario, your best bet would be to send your March and June tests. Keep in mind that when you send a test date that ALL of the three sections of that test date are sent to the colleges; you do NOT have the option of just sending the writing, for example, of one test date. There is no reason to send the May test scores because those scores were your lowest in each of the three sections. If a college superscores, it will consider your best individual sections from the tests that you have chosen to send to it. Therefore, your superscore would be a 600 (critical reading from June), 550 (math from June), and 650 (writing from March), making your superscore an 1800/2400.
Superscoring & the ACT:
While the ACT is definitely the best test for some kids, the biggest, single drawback has been that, in the past, colleges did not “superscore” the test. However, some colleges are starting to superscore for the ACT, and I am thrilled that they are! It is very difficult for kids to sit for close to four hours and do their best on each individual section on the same day. If superscoring the ACT becomes the college admissions’ industry standard, I think that we will see even more kids taking the ACT test over the SAT test. Time will tell.
I think, but cannot confirm, that one of the reasons colleges have NOT superscored the ACT in the past is because of the way the ACT releases its scores. In addition to the four individual sections’ (English, Math, Reading, & Science) scores, the ACT also releases what it calls a “Composite Score,” which basically adds all four sections together and divides by four to create one score out of 36 for that test day. The majority of colleges only release, in books, online, etc., this composite score, rather than the four individual scores. If you hear kids talking about the ACT, they will usually say, “I got a 28 on the ACT.” While if you hear kids talking about the SAT, they will usually say, “my best scores are a 550 on the reading, a 600 on the math, and a 570 on the writing.”
It’s an interesting cultural difference. Since the SAT scores are released by the individual sections, people tend to say the three individual scores. Since the ACT gives a composite score, people tend to say the composite score. This trend seems to be mimicked in the college admission process as well!
Here is a scenario for the scoring on the ACT. Each section is out of 36 points. Let’s say that a student takes the ACT in December, February, and April. Below you will find the individual scores for each section, along with a composite for each test. Following the individual scores, you will see what the best superscore is for this scenario.
- December ACT Test Scores: 28 (English), 26 (Math), 29 (Reading), 27 (Science) = Composite Score of 27.5, rounded up to a 28
- February ACT Test Scores: 30 (English), 27 (Math), 30 (Reading), 28 (Science) = Composite Score of 28.75, rounded up to a 29
- April ACT Test Scores: 29 (English), 30 (Math), 27 (Reading), 25 (Science) = Composite Score of 27.75, rounded up to a 28
If a college superscores, then I would sent in the February and April tests, and the superscore would be a combination of the following sections, 30 English (Feb), 30 Math, (April), 30 Reading (Feb), and 28 Science (Feb), giving a superscore composite of 30, which is higher than any individual composite score.
In my next blog, I am going to start a list of colleges that are superscoring. Since superscoring the ACT is such a game changer in the college admission’s process, I think that it deserves its own blog. Plus, it will serve as a quick and easy reference, since I plan on updating it as often as possible with colleges that have chosen to superscore the ACT! Just for full exposure, I only get my information regarding specific colleges by calling each admission department directly and asking about its policies. I recommend that if you have a question about a college to go right to the source; DON’T rely on rumors!!!
Good luck and keep reading!
Karen Miller ~ SAT/ACT/College Application Specialist