SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Francesca Fulciniti

Francesca graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and scored in the 99th percentile on the SATs. She's worked with many students on SAT prep and college counseling, and loves helping students capitalize on their strengths.

Recent Posts

ACT Full Fees & Registration: What's the Total Cost of the ACT?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 1, 2017 11:00:00 PM

ACT Logistics

Just like many parts of the college application process, taking the ACT (and even using your ACT scores) means an assortment of fees. Here, I'll break down every possible ACT registration cost and score fee. 

The good news is that a lot of these fees are unnecessary and avoidable. Read to the end for tips and strategies on saving as much as possible on the ACT. 

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The 21 Colleges With the Best Financial Aid

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Apr 5, 2017 6:30:00 PM

Financial Aid

College in the US is expensive—too expensive, in fact, for the average student to afford on their own. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 85% of students at 4-year colleges were receiving some financial aid as of a couple of years ago. Financial aid is good in all its forms, right? If it helps college students afford their educations, what could be the problem?

Unfortunately, not all financial aid is created equal, and not all schools can afford to give out “good” student aid. Here, I’ll briefly talk about the types of financial aid available (the “good” kinds and the “bad” kinds) before laying out the colleges with the best financial aid programs in the country.

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The Best Scholarships for Juniors in High School

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Apr 5, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Financial Aid

Many students think that they should start looking at college scholarships once they actually start applying to college—so, sometime early on in their senior year. Although it’s true that many big-name scholarships require applicants to be high school seniors, there are some great awards out there for younger students as well.

So why not get a head start in applying for scholarship awards? You could win money for college, sure, but you’ll also get experience in the scholarship application process before submitting even more applications your senior year.

I’ve compiled a list of scholarships for high school juniors. This list will be a great place to start, but you may also want to search for more targeted awards (e.g. by geographic area). You can browse the scholarships below based on whether they're competitions or merit-based scholarships. Read to the end for tips and strategies on getting the most scholarship money possible!

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How to Win a Walmart Scholarship: Strategy Guide

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Feb 26, 2017 2:50:00 PM

Financial Aid

 

 

Walmart offers a couple of scholarship opportunities for its employees and employees' dependents. These scholarships are meant to cover college or vocational school expenses for those who have financial need.

I'll talk about eligibility requirements and the application process first; if you're already familiar with this information, you can skip to the second half of the post. This is where I'll give tips and strategies for increasing your chances of winning a Walmart scholarship. 

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The 12 Easiest Scholarships to Apply For

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Feb 23, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

Scholarships are awesome resources if you’re checking out different ways to pay for college. It’s free money - what’s not to love?

As it turns out, most scholarship programs have application processes that aren’t exactly lovable. Students generally have to submit a lot of information about themselves: transcripts, GPAs, test scores, resumes, community service activities, and so on. There may even be a few essays and grade requirements thrown in as well. You don’t want to complain, because again, free money - but these applications sure are tedious when you’re working on college apps, high school courses, and financial aid applications all at the same time.

The following easy scholarships have application processes that are a bit more manageable. Some ask you to write short essays while others don’t require any essays at all! The awards may not be as large as some other scholarships, but when the application process is so easy, you really don’t have much to lose. I'll start off with some words of warning before getting into the good stuff: essay and no-essay scholarships that are so easy to apply for, you may end up applying to all of them!

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The Complete Guide to Google Scholarships

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 29, 2016 7:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

Google is one of the world’s software and technology powerhouses - it’s not surprising that they offer several scholarships for students interested in pursuing computer science and engineering.

Because Google has the resources to offer very generous awards, applicants come up against serious competition when gunning for one of their scholarships. If you’re interested in a Google scholarship, you should be as prepared as possible if you want to submit a successful application.

In this post I’ll explain every major Google award in detail before giving you tips and strategies for submitting an awesome application.

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The Complete Guide to Grants for College

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 23, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Financial Aid

 

If you know you’ll need to get financial aid to make college more affordable (most students do, by the way), then you should definitely learn everything you can about grants. They happen to be some of the best forms of financial aid you can get.

Here, I’ll tell you exactly why grants are so great and why you should seek them out. Then, I’ll get to the important stuff: where and how you can get your own grant awards.

Let’s get started!

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Is College Really Worth It? Expert Cost-Benefit Analysis

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 2, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Financial Aid

With tuition rising every year, more and more students are asking themselves, "Is college worth it?" Many people believe that getting a college education is an important part of becoming a successful adult. Others, however, find it difficult to justify the increasing investment necessary to earn a degree. There’s no one path that’s right for everyone, and it can be difficult to think critically about the decision to go to college when you’re feeling pressured one way or another.

There’s no simple answer to this question, but there is a rational way to think about whether college is the right path for you. Just as with any investment, you want to think about the relationship between what you put into it (like money, time, and effort) and what you get out of it (like education, networking, and career opportunities). The more you get out of it as compared to how much you put in, the better the investment.

In this post, I'll go through all the potential benefits and drawbacks of pursuing a four-year bachelor's degree so you have all the information to decide for yourself whether college is worth it. 

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The 11 Best Pre-Med Schools to Help You Become a Doctor

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 2, 2016 8:30:00 AM

College Info

Choosing an undergraduate institution is the first major step any student will make on the path to becoming a physician. If you’re an aspiring pre-med, you should set yourself with the best opportunities and support networks in college and beyond - applying to (and succeeding in) medical school is a grueling process, and you’ll want to be prepared.

Here, I’ll talk about what actually makes a school good for pre-meds before getting into the good stuff: the list of best pre-med schools.

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What Is a 529 Plan? How Can It Help You?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 1, 2016 9:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

If you want to save in a smart way for college (either for yourself or your child), you’ll want to make the most of your money. One of the best savings plans meant specifically for growing a college fund is called a 529 plan, or a qualified tuition plan.

But what is a 529 plan? Like any sort of investment plan, there are several types of 529s, all with their own benefits and drawbacks. In this post, I’ll talk about the basics of 529 plans, why they’re helpful, whether they affect financial aid, and where you can get one.

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What's the Highest New SAT Score Possible?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 1, 2016 4:00:00 PM

SAT Logistics, New SAT

Understanding how the SAT scoring system works is an important part of preparing for the test - how else are you supposed to measure progress and set goals?  The SAT has undergone some recent changes, which means that the scoring system that most people were familiar with has seen a radical overhaul. Here, I’ll cover how the scoring system has changed and what that means for you.

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What's a Liberal Arts College? Should You Attend One?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 25, 2016 8:30:00 AM

College Info

If you’ve started researching colleges, you’ve probably seen the term “liberal arts school” thrown around quite a bit without really understanding what it means. What is a liberal arts college, actually?  And how is it different from other sorts of colleges and universities?

It’s hard to get a straight answer when it comes to defining a liberal arts college. In this post, I’ll dive a little deeper into defining the liberal arts before explaining what it means to get a liberal arts education. Then, I’ll talk about how these colleges differ from non-liberal arts schools and how that may affect your educational experience.

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The 7 Steps to Becoming a Doctor: A Complete Guide

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 24, 2016 10:00:00 PM

Other High School, College Info

Medicine is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding fields a student can enter. Before deciding whether becoming a doctor is right for you, it’s important that you’re well-informed about every step you’ll have to take along the way.

Here, I’ll walk you through exactly how to become a doctor, starting with high school. This career is definitely not for everyone - it requires huge investments of time, money, and effort - but if this career path is right for you, this post will help you start preparing now for a successful career.

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Where to Find Free SSAT Practice Tests: Complete Collection

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 24, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

If you (or your child) are applying to a private or independent elementary, middle, or high school, you may have heard of the SSAT. Often used as an entrance exam, the SSAT is a series of standardized tests that can be administered to students in grades 3-11.

The SSAT, or Secondary School Admissions Test, is a standardized exam often given to students hoping to enter a private or independent elementary, middle, or high school. If you want to boost your chances of getting into one of these schools, working on SSAT practice tests is a great way to do it. Here, I’ll discuss where you can find these practice tests (both official and unofficial), and how you should use them. I’ll wrap up with important SSAT test-taking tips.

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How to Pass the ACT: Expert Guide

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 24, 2016 4:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies


There’s so much info out there about doing well on the ACT - a lot of it is really helpful when it comes to preparing for the test! But this onslaught of information can get pretty overwhelming, especially when you just want a simple answer to a simple question: how do you pass the ACT? 

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