A high GPA can earn you $100k+ in college merit aid

SocratesPost is always on the frontlines scouring the news for relevant updates in the college admissions landscape. We look for anything that can help shape our understanding of the latest trends in admissions and help our readers see the direction in which we’re moving.

Questions we explored this week:

  • Keep the change, folks! This "public Ivy" just replaced existing student loans with free money. Which one?
  • SATs are a relic of the past. But College Board just changed our lives again. How?
  • Can a high GPA really earn you $100k more in merit aid? Here's what research says.

January 19, 2021 — University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Have loans in your 2020-2021 financial aid package? No more. UNC Chapel Hill is converting those to grants. Grants do not need to be repaid. This aims to relieve students’ financial pressure and use up available Covid funding. The sweet deal is only applicable for students with a 2020-2021 financial aid package, not incoming students.

What does this mean? Tons of relieved students on campus, especially after such a tough year. Incoming students will want a similar deal, but will likely be disappointed!

Read more here.

January 23, 2021 — Cancelled: SAT Subject Tests and SAT Writing

After June, the College Board, which administers the SAT and AP tests, will no longer offer Subject Tests. Subject Tests assess knowledge on specific topics like French, math, biology, and physics. The optional writing section of the SAT will also be eliminated. Strong writers will no longer be assessed in “real time,” as they did on SAT Writing.

Picked for you:  Free tuition here for families making $100k

What does this mean? College Board says it’s to reduce requirements, but it’s really because they know SAT is going down. They must push people to AP tests if they want to stay relevant (and in business).

Read more here.

January 23, 2021 — Research says yes

For example, Wabash College gives a $17k/year merit award for incoming students with a 3.0-3.4 high school GPA and 20+ ACT. With a 3.9 GPA and 29+ ACT, that sum jumps to $32k/year. That’s $128k over four years.

What does this mean? Parents with pre-high school students should be upfront with their kids about the importance of GPA and saving money. Once they’re high school upperclassmen, it’ll be too late to change the “tattoo of high school” – a.k.a. the GPA.

Picked for you:  A High School, a College, and a Tour

Read more here.

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