Sections    Thursday November 22nd, 2018
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College Board offers Opportunity Scholarships to students in Class of 2020


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  • Sara Sympson/ College Board

Mesa High School Students Walk Into Their Graduation Ceremony May 26, 2016. Photo By Tim Hacker/Mesa Public Schools

Getting into college can be complicated and overwhelming. To support students and families, the College Board has introduced the College Board Opportunity Scholarships, a first-of-its-kind national scholarship program. It’s unique because it serves as a simple college planning guide for all students. It explains what to do and when to do it.

The College Board Opportunity Scholarships lay out six simple steps that all students can take to get into college. Completing each step will earn a chance for a scholarship; completing all six will earn students a chance to win $40,000 for their college education.

The six steps in this program help students plan by making a good starter college list, help them prepare so they can take their best shot, and help them pay for college. The six actions are:

1. Building a College List—Students get started by exploring colleges they’re interested in.
2. Practicing for the SAT—Students use Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy to get ready for test day.
3. Improving SAT Scores—Students show how practice pays off by improving their SAT scores.
4. Strengthening Their College List—Students make sure their college list is a mix of academic safety, fit, and reach schools.
5. Completing the FAFSA—Students fill out the free government form to apply for financial aid.
6. Applying to Colleges—Students apply to the schools they want to attend.

The College Board Opportunity Scholarships are different from other scholarship programs because they’re about how much students grow, not how high they score.

The College Board Opportunity Scholarships don’t require an essay or an application and don’t have a minimum GPA or SAT score requirement. Instead, the program rewards all students’ efforts and actions on their way to college. The more effort that students put in and actions they complete, the more chances they have to earn a college scholarship.

The College Board is investing $25 million over five years. A total of $5 million is available for each graduating class, beginning with the class of 2020. All students are invited.

Students can sign up at CB.org/Opportunity.

The program officially launches in December. However, students can start today by going to BigFuture to make a starter list of six colleges they’re interested in.

Just by making that list, students earn a chance for a $500 scholarship. Then students can take the next step toward earning a $40,000 scholarship by going to SATPractice.org to receive free, personalized practice on Khan Academy.