Strengthen Your College List
About the Scholarship
You’ve built your college list—now it’s time to strengthen it. As you head into your senior year, think about where you may want to apply.
Students who create a balanced list by updating their college list on BigFuture™ to have at least 3 reach colleges, 2 match colleges, and 1 safety college will earn a chance at a $500 scholarship.
The College Board will award 100 Strengthen scholarships every month from August through October 2020.
How to Qualify
Sign in to your College Board account and create a balanced list on BigFuture™ with at least six colleges—including 3 reach, 2 match, and 1 safety colleges—to earn one entry in the monthly drawing.
As you explore other colleges, update your list. Maintain at least 3 reach, 2 match, and 1 safety colleges in later months to earn another entry.
- Sign in to BigFuture™ to view your college list and/or add colleges.
- Add at least 6 colleges to your list, including 3 reach, 2 match, and 1 safety.
- Update your list in later months, with at least 6 colleges and at least 3 reach colleges, 2 match colleges and 1 safety college, to earn another entry.
Tips for Strengthening Your List
- How can I balance my list?
Once you’ve made a list of colleges you’re interested in, narrow it down to the ones you want to apply to. You’ll need a minimum of six colleges on your list, including three reach, two match, and one safety. Your school counselor is a great resource as you evaluate colleges and choose the ones you’ll apply to.
- How are reach, match, and safety colleges defined?
This scholarship defines reach, match, and safety based on SAT and ACT® scores, but remember: test scores are only one factor for admission. Consider GPA, coursework, extracurriculars, and more to decide if a college is right for you.
Compare your highest SAT or ACT score to those of last year’s freshman class. If you don't yet have an SAT or ACT score, you can estimate your score based on a previous PSAT-related accessment score or take a practice test on Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy®.
- REACH: Your SAT or ACT score is lower than the average score range of last year’s freshman class. But don’t let that stop you! Colleges consider the whole package.
- MATCH: Your SAT or ACT score is solidly in the same score range as last year’s freshman class.
- SAFETY: Your SAT or ACT score is higher than the average score range of last year’s freshman class.
Increase Your Chances
Update your list in later months as you explore colleges that could be a good fit for you. If you edit your list and it still meets the Strengthen requirements, you’ll earn another entry during that month. You can add another college in any category if you always maintain at least 3 reach, 2 match, and 1 safety.
Dates and Deadlines
Scholarships are awarded every month from August through October 2020. A new eligibility window starts on the first day of each month and ends at midnight on the last day of the month. The drawing occurs on the first day of the following month.
On the drawing dates, 100 students will be randomly selected to receive a $500 scholarship. Of those scholarships, 50 will go to students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year.
We’ll notify qualified students by email to sign in and go to their My Achievements page to see the results.