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Thomas Broderick

What’s a Good SAT Score for Scholarships?

Happy summer, Magooshers! If you’re an upcoming high school junior (or even senior), it’s time to start thinking about scholarships. After all, mom and dad aren’t going to foot the whole bill for college.


What’s a Good SAT Score for Scholarships? -Magoosh

Because the price of college = At least 1 fully restored DeLorean. And honestly, wouldn’t you rather spend your money on the DeLorean? 🙂 Photo by Kevin Abato.


One way to earn some scholarship $$$ is through your standardized test scores, especially the SATs. If you go down this path, there is a lot of information to sort through, so I want to take some time and talk about how you can turn good SAT scores into scholarship dollars. Just so you know, I’m keeping in mind the fact that scholarship applications this year might be a little confusing. With the SAT scoring change earlier this year, some scholarships may not have updated their information.

So how good do my scores need to be?

Well…it depends. I know that may not be the answer you want to hear, but let me break it down for you.

First of all, many colleges around the country have what are called ‘guaranteed scholarships.’ These scholarships are automatically awarded to accepted students who have earned a certain SAT score. The cool thing about them is that you don’t even have to fill out a separate application. When you’re researching colleges, make sure to see what guaranteed scholarships are out there.

A larger number of colleges have general merit scholarships. These scholarships have the same SAT requirements, but you are in competition with other accepted students for a limited number of awards. These scholarships may require a separate application, along with a personal of themed essay. In short, read those directions closely!

You haven’t said a number yet!

I’m getting to that. Because every scholarship’s requirements are different, you have a job to do. Whether you have taken the SAT or not, get out there and find some merit scholarships. Then, average all those SAT score requirements. The result is your minimum SAT score goal. Is this score goal good enough? Not yet. If you aim (and then achieve) higher than that minimum, you have done your job correctly. Also, coming up with a score goal has the added benefit of making you more focused during SAT prep.

After you’ve earned higher than the minimum SAT score required, it’s time to focus on the scholarship applications themselves, and any essays and/or personal statements that may be lurking within.

Final Thoughts About Good SAT Scores for Scholarships

There are a lot of scholarships out there, and surprisingly enough, many of them have nothing to do with SAT scores. That’s right, plenty of scholarships are based around other attributes such as overcoming adversity, your background, your summer job, or simply how well you write an essay. Here are just some of the scholarships I discovered after a few minutes of online research:

Well, Magooshers, that’s all for now. Before you go any further, make sure to check out 3 Best Places to Look For College Scholarships. Happy scholarship hunting!

About Thomas Broderick

Thomas spent four years teaching high school English, social studies, and ACT preparation in Middle Tennessee. Now living in Northern California, he is excited to share his knowledge and experience with Magoosh's readers. In his spare time Thomas enjoys writing short fiction and hiking in the Sonoma foothills.

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