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

SAT Fees and Registration: What's the Total Cost of the SAT?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 23, 2019 10:00:00 PM

SAT Logistics

Just like many parts of the college application process, taking the SAT (and even using your SAT scores) comes with an assortment of fees. Here, I'll break down every possible SAT registration cost and score fee. Then, I'll go over strategies for saving as much money as possible on the SAT.

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The 19 Best Colleges for Students With Learning Disabilities

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 9, 2019 11:00:00 AM

College Info

Figuring out which colleges you’re interested in is arguably the most difficult part of the college application process. There’s so much information to sift through—how could brief campus visits and informational brochures really tell you where you’ll be most successful?

This process is even harder for students with learning disabilities. You want to make sure there are programs in place to help you be the best you can be no matter where you go to school.

If you want to apply to colleges for students with learning disabilities, this article is a great place to start your college search. I'll start off by talking about what these specialty programs have to offer before getting to the rankings. Afterward, I'll discuss the next steps to take if you decide a learning disability program is right for you.

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How to Win a Tylenol Scholarship

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 19, 2019 4:30:00 PM

Financial Aid

If you're planning on pursuing an education or career in health care, you should definitely check out the Tylenol Future Care Scholarship, a merit-based award meant for undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in any of a wide variety of health-care programs, including public health, health education, med school, nursing, and even pharmaceuticals. 

I'll talk about the eligibility requirements and the application process first before discussing tips and strategies you can use to optimize your chances of winning a Future Care Scholarship. 

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How to Pay for College Without Parents' Help

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 12, 2019 9:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

Paying for school is daunting enough when you have the financial support of your family. But for students whose parents can’t or won’t contribute to expenses, figuring out how to pay for college on your own becomes a whole different challenge.

In this guide, I'll lay out everything you need to consider about how to pay for college without parents and all the steps you need to take

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Pell Grant Eligibility and Requirements: Do You Qualify?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 5, 2019 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. 

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How to Win a McDonald's Scholarship

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 5, 2019 6:52:00 PM

Financial Aid

 McDonald's charities offer many different scholarships for college-bound seniors all over the country, all with different awards and eligibility requirements. Because there's so much variability among awards, applying for a McDonald's scholarship can seem daunting. Ultimately, though, it's worth it to apply - since 1985, Ronald McDonald House Charities have given out over $65 million in scholarships. Wouldn't it be great to get a small piece of that? 

I'll walk you through the different types of scholarship awards that McDonald's offers, in addition to offering tips and strategies to optimize your chances of winning your own award. 

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The Best Scholarships for Juniors in High School

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 5, 2019 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 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 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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How to Create a Perfect Bright Futures Application

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 5, 2019 5:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

The Florida Bright Futures scholarships are great funding options for Florida residents who want to stay in the state for college or vocational school. All three awards are easily renewable, which means you could significantly cut your college expenses for several years.

You might think there’s some complicated paperwork involved in submitting the Florida Bright Futures scholarship application. As it turns out, much of the process is streamlined and automated —you actually don’t have to jump through too many hoops to apply. The eligibility requirements are a bit of a different story, but once you meet those, the application process should be pretty easy.

In this post, I'll briefly explain about eligibility requirements before moving on to the application timeline. I'll end with tips and strategies you can use to submit the best possible Bright Futures application. 

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Simple Guide: How to Apply for Financial Aid

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 5, 2019 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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10 Best Interior Design Schools in the US

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 5, 2019 4:00:00 PM

College Info

An education in interior design is getting more and more important for aspiring professionals in the field. In many states, you can’t call yourself an interior designer unless you have a license or a certain level of education.

If you’re thinking about becoming an interior designer, you’ll want to know about the best interior design schools you can attend in the US. Whether you want to work on residential or commercial design, the following programs will prepare you well for your future career as an interior designer. But before we get to the rankings list, let's briefly go over what makes interior design programs unique.

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Florida Bright Futures Requirements: SAT, ACT, GPA, and More

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | May 5, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Financial Aid

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship programs are awesome education funding options for Florida state residents—if you can get through the application process, that is. The scholarships offered are particularly nitpicky and tedious about their eligibility requirements: the official handbook outlining these criteria is its own 14-page book chapter. Not to worry! I’ve outlined all the eligibility criteria for Florida Bright Futures Scholarships (general and specific, for each scholarship, with every single exception or special circumstance) in a way that’s a bit easier to get through. 

I’ve also included information about when to expect notification about your eligibility. Once you’re considered eligible, you’re one (big) step closer to winning a Bright Futures Scholarship. After you’ve processed all this information, I’ll get to the good stuff—how to increase your chances of winning your own Bright Futures award. 

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17 Best Fine Arts Colleges in the US

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Apr 21, 2019 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?

I’ve taken the first step for you by compiling a list of some 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. Because it’s difficult and perhaps unhelpful to give these schools a definite ranking on this list, I’ve separated them into school type. I’ve also prepared some strategies for figuring which schools best meet your own personal needs.

But before all that, I’ll answer a more basic question: what is a fine arts college, exactly?

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The 11 Easiest Scholarships to Apply For

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Mar 17, 2019 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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How to Win the Gates Scholarship

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jan 27, 2019 6:48:00 PM

Financial Aid

 

The Gates Scholarship is a program with a huge impact. Launched in 2017, the program's mission is to give opportunities to outstanding minority students to reach their highest potential.

In this guide, I'll go through all the details of the scholarship and the application protocols. After that, I'll give you expert tips and strategies for putting together the strongest Gates Scholarship application possible. Read on to learn more!

Note: The Gates Scholarship was established in 2017 as a replacement for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, which reached its goal of 20,000 scholars in 2016.

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How to Win a Walmart Scholarship: Strategy Guide

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jan 27, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

You probably didn't know that Walmart offers a couple of scholarship opportunities for employees and their dependents. These scholarships are meant to cover college or vocational school expenses for those with financial need.

In this guide, I'll start by talking about eligibility requirements and the application process. If you're already familiar with this information, skip to the second half of this post—this is where I'll give tips and strategies for increasing your chances of winning a Walmart scholarship. 

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