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

20 Top Minority Scholarships

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Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Dec 3, 2020 6:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

Scholarships can be a significant source of college funding for students of all different backgrounds - if you know where to look, that is. Many top scholarships have eligibility requirements regarding financial need or academic merit, but there are also excellent scholarship programs that are specifically for minority students. Most of these programs were created in order to facilitate access to education for minority students, and many aim to help students pursue careers in which people of certain ethnicities or backgrounds are underrepresented. 

One of the best ways to optimize scholarship funding is to apply to scholarships with more specific eligibility requirements (requirements that you meet, of course). To help you find scholarships like this, I’ve compiled a list of awards meant for students of specific ethnic and racial backgrounds. I started with scholarships meant for students of all minority backgrounds before moving into awards meant for specific minorities. Finally, I’ve ended with some tips and strategies for getting the most scholarship money possible. 

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Simple Guide: How to Apply for Financial Aid

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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

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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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The 12 Best Journalism Schools

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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 25 Best US Colleges for International Students

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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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Free ACT Practice Tests: Massive Collection of Online Sources

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Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Aug 14, 2020 10:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

When you're trying to prepare for the ACT, the last thing you want to worry about is finding ACT practice tests. To help make the process a little less stressful for you, we've compiled this huge list of sources for free ACT practice tests and questions.

Not all practice tests are created equal, though. For each test source, I'll talk about how you can use the practice material to best prepare for the ACT.

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Beware of These 16 Worst College Majors

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Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Aug 5, 2020 9:00:00 AM

College Info

One of the biggest decisions you'll have to make while you're in college (or even before you begin) is what to major in. When you choose a major, you might primarily think about your academic interests or long-term career goals. But perhaps you're concerned about more practical matters, such as employment and earnings opportunities.

If you want to scope out majors that'll make it more difficult for you to be professionally successful in the long run, you've come to the right place. Here, I'll lay out what makes a major "bad" before listing the worst college majors in a variety of categories (including worst-paying majors, majors with the highest unemployment rates, and lowest-value majors). Keep in mind, however, that these can still be great subjects to study.

Already majoring in one of the subjects on this list or planning to in the future? Don't worry—that doesn't mean you're doomed to professional failure. At the end, I'll list tips and strategies for success if you've decided to pursue one of the majors on these lists.

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