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

Simple Guide: How to Apply for Financial Aid

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Nov 4, 2020 4:30:00 PM

Financial Aid

You've taken the SAT or ACT (or both). You've researched a list of safety, target, and reach schools. You've written what seems like 100 college essays, and nailed down several letters of recommendation. You think you finally have a minute to take a breather, and then you remember: you have to figure out how to pay for all of this!

Most students know that financial aid is an option, but the whole financial aid application process can be confusing. What counts as financial aid? Where do you get it? What's the typical application process like? How much can you get? It's enough to make your head spin, especially if you don't have much guidance on the subject.

In this post, I'll answer all those questions (and more) to start you off on the right foot. Heading off to college should be an exciting new adventure, not a stressful financial burden—this guide will help you get all the financial aid you need to make this upcoming college transition a pleasant one.

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The 37 Colleges With the Highest ACT Scores, Ranked

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Nov 2, 2020 4:00:00 PM

College Info

Did you know that the ACT is accepted by all four-year colleges? For this article, I've compiled a list of colleges with the highest average ACT scores for admitted students. With this data, you can compare your own ACT scores (or goal scores) with those earned by admitted applicants at top colleges.

We'll also talk about what these rankings actually mean: are these schools the best you can attend? Are they the most competitive? What if your ACT scores are below the listed averages?

Read on to find out the answers to these questions (and more)!

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Updated List: Colleges With the Highest SAT Scores

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Oct 31, 2020 11:00:00 AM

College Info

If you've already taken the SAT, you know it will likely be an important component of your college applications. Maybe you've set a goal score for yourself based on the types of colleges you're interested in. Even if you haven't taken the SAT yet or are still considering whether to take it, you probably want to know more about what the most competitive colleges and universities expect when it comes to applicants' standardized test scores.

I've compiled a list of colleges with the highest average SAT scores for admitted students. You'll be able to compare your own SAT scores (or goal scores) with those of top colleges and universities. I'll also talk about what these rankings actually mean so that you can interpret this information effectively. For example, are these schools the best schools you can attend? Are they the most competitive? What do you do if your SAT scores are below the listed averages?

Read on for a list of the top schools ranked by SAT score, and answers to the above questions!

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How to Win a Coca Cola Scholarship

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Oct 4, 2020 2:30:00 PM

Financial Aid

If you're looking into scholarship programs to help pay for your college education, the famous Coca-Cola scholarships are a good place to start. Why are they famous? Well, the Coca-Cola foundation offers some of the most generous awards out there to graduating high school seniors. They tend to be very competitive, so if you want a shot at the scholarship, you should learn as much about them as you possibly can.

In this post, I'll talk about some of the logistical concerns you might have about the scholarship— things like deadlines and eligibility requirements. But more importantly, I'll also offer helpful tips and strategies to give your application the boost it needs. Read on to optimize your chances of winning one of these competitive scholarships!

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The 31 Colleges With the Best Financial Aid

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Sep 27, 2020 7:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

College in the US is expensive—too expensive, in fact, for the average student to be able to afford on their own. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 86% of first-year students at four-year colleges were receiving financial aid in 2017-18. 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 introducing the colleges with the best financial aid programs in the country.

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

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Sep 20, 2020 8:30:00 AM

College Info

Choosing an undergraduate school is the first major step any student will make on the path to becoming a physician. If you're an aspiring pre-med student, you'll want to give yourself the best opportunities and support networks in college and beyond. Applying to (and succeeding in) medical school is a grueling process, so you'll need 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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Pell Grant Eligibility and Requirements: Do You Qualify?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Sep 17, 2020 11:13:00 PM

Financial Aid

Pell Grants are awarded by the federal US government to help students pay for college or vocational school. Figuring out whether you're eligible can be confusing, but this post will guide you through all the eligibility requirements you should know about if you want to apply for a federal Pell Grant.

If you need a basic intro to what the Pell Grant is, check out our overview guide.

Students are automatically considered for the Pell Grant when they submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. For 2021, the deadline for submitting a FAFSA (and thus being considered for a Pell Grant) is June 30th. You can learn more about Pell Grant submission here. In this post, we'll cover the following:

  • How to figure out whether you're eligible for federal student aid
  • What the Pell Grant income limits are
  • How to figure out whether you're eligible for the Pell Grant specifically
  • Pell Grant award maximums
  • What you can do to increase your chances of getting the Pell Grant
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The 17 Best Fine Arts Colleges in the US

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Sep 11, 2020 4:00:00 PM

College Info

If you're interested in attending a fine arts college, your college search may be trickier than the average student's. It's relatively simple to compare standard undergraduate degree programs, but fine arts schools can be so different: they have different specialties, different facilities, and different curricula. How do you know which fine arts colleges are the best, and how do you know which ones would be good fits for you?

I've taken the first step for you by compiling a list of the top fine arts colleges and bachelor's programs in the country. Each one offers something a little different, making this ranking list a bit more unique (and a bit more interesting) than your average college ranking list.

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New SAT Practice Tests: 3 Tips for Finding and Using Them

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Sep 9, 2020 12:00:00 PM

New SAT

In order to study effectively for the SAT, it's important to use practice tests that test the same strategy and content as the SAT does. With the major 2016 SAT overhaul, this means turning to updated, more recent materials.

Official College Board practice tests are the gold standard when it comes to prep materials. Here, you'll find free links to all official SAT practice tests, essays, answer keys, and scoring guides, along with tips and strategies for how to use them.

You might notice, though, that there's a limit to how many free official SAT resources are available. For those who want to prep with other high-quality SAT practice problems and tests,we offer you some useful alternatives to official practice tests.

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The Best Scholarships for Juniors in High School

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Sep 2, 2020 6:47:00 PM

Financial Aid

Many students think that they should begin looking at college scholarships once they actually start applying to college—so some time early 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 on 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 during 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 might 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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ACT Full Fees & Registration: What's the Total Cost of the ACT?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Aug 28, 2020 12:00:00 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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20 Top Scholarships for High School Seniors

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Aug 23, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Financial Aid

Aside from grants and loans, private scholarships are some of the best ways to help fund your college education. There are thousands of scholarships out there for high school seniors, all with different eligibility requirements, deadlines, and award amounts, so it's definitely worth your time to do some research.

Senior year is prime crunch time when it comes to your college scholarship search. If you're just starting the search process and need a little help getting off on the right foot, you've come to the right place. I've compiled a list of some of the best college scholarships for high school seniors based on availability and award amounts. These scholarships are generally flexible (so you'll be able to use them at any accredited college you attend), and they also don't have any geographical restrictions (so you're eligible to apply no matter where you live in the US).

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The 12 Best Journalism Schools

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Aug 21, 2020 11:00:00 PM

College Info

It can be hard to find good information on the strength of journalism undergraduate programs. To help you get your college search going, we've rounded up a list of the best journalism schools for aspiring writers, editors, and reporters.

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The 10 Easiest Scholarships to Apply For

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Aug 20, 2020 6:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

Scholarships are awesome resources if you're checking out different ways to pay for college. It's free money after all—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 might 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 might not be as large as some other scholarships out there, 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 might end up applying to all of them!

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The 25 Best US Colleges for International Students

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Aug 16, 2020 8:30:00 AM

College Info

Each year, nearly one million international students enroll in US undergraduate and graduate programs. There are so many colleges and universities in the US, though, that it can be tough to know where to start, especially if you're applying from out of the country.

In this post, I'll lay out some of the best universities for international students. Whether you're looking for generous financial aid, large international populations, or special international programs, we've got you covered.

Finally, I'll lay out the five most important steps you need to take if you want to go to school in the US, straight from the State Department.

Let's get started!

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