Twenty-five percent of merit scholarships still require students to take the SAT or ACT, according to a new report from the National Center for Fair & Open Testing.
Some prominent scholarships continue to require tests, which have become relatively rare as a requirement in higher education since the pandemic.
The report said many people appear to think they need to take a test to earn a scholarship.
“Inaccurate perceptions about the testing requirements of ‘merit’ aid have been encouraged by the manufacturers of the ACT and SAT, the National Merit Scholarship program, several prominent statewide test-based plans including Florida’s Bright Futures and Georgia’s Zell Miller scholarships, and the test prep industry,” said Akil Bello, the main author of the report and senior director of advocacy and advancement at FairTest. “As a result, students frequently misallocate time and effort toward test preparation to improve their chances of receiving merit scholarships. The claim that a sizable portion of ‘merit’ aid goes to ‘diamonds in the rough’ from historically under-represented groups is inconsistent with one hundred years of research about the tests’ racial, gender and social class biases.”