The College Board Opportunity Scholarships are open to all class of 2020 students who attend high school in the United States, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. Students in the class of 2021 will be eligible beginning in late 2019. There is no citizenship requirement. Students who attend Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools outside of the United States are unable to participate in the program at this time.
We want as many students as possible to earn scholarships through the College Board Opportunity Scholarships. Students who are ineligible to complete the FAFSA will have a way to opt out of that action within the College Board Opportunity Scholarship platform and will still be eligible for the final Complete Your Journey scholarship provided they complete the other five actions.
No. This program is open to students regardless of their family income. At least half of all the scholarships (at least $2.5 million) will be designated for students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year.
Half of the scholarships awarded through the College Board Opportunity Scholarships program will go to students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year. Participants will automatically be identified as meeting this criterion in two ways:
If they have received a fee waiver through the College Board for one of our assessments
If they attend a high school where 75% or more of the student body qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch
If they do not meet either of the automatic criteria above but feel they qualify because their family earns less than $60,000 per year, they will be able to provide additional information once they opt in to the program. Students will be able to update their self-reported income level at any time.
It may take up to 24 hours for your activity to be updated in the progress tracker. After that time, if you still feel that your information is not up to date, please contact Customer Service at 844-298-3554.
The Build Your College List, Practice for the SAT, Strengthen Your College List, and Complete the FAFSA scholarships will have monthly drawings during each of the “open” months. The Improve Your Score scholarships will have drawings following the months with SAT score releases. The Apply to Colleges and Complete Your Journey scholarships’ drawings will only occur on March 1, 2020.
We will disburse the money directly to the institution that the student ends up attending. As a student moves through the college application process, the money will be set aside for them until they let us know where they enroll in college. Because we are disbursing the money directly to the institution, there are no tax implications for the student.
The individual activity-based scholarships are all one-time awards and will be disbursed to the student’s institution for their first semester of enrollment, unless they don’t have unmet need that semester. The overall Complete Your Journey scholarship ($40,000) will be disbursed in installments based on what is most advantageous to the student.
We want these scholarships to help students meet their expenses associated with attending college, so we’ll be instructing institutions that the scholarships should be applied to tuition, fees, books, and other relevant educational expenses.
Once a student claims their scholarship (which must happen within 60 calendar days of being notified that they were selected for a scholarship per the Official Rules), they must keep the College Board updated on their college plans. Beginning in the spring semester of their senior year, we’ll reach out to students who have earned a scholarship about the disbursement process and next steps. If they will be enrolling at an institution of higher education immediately after graduating high school, they must tell the College Board where they will be attending so that the College Board can disburse the funds to the institution.
If a student will be taking a gap year, they will be able to wait one year before using their scholarship at the institution that they enroll in.
We will work with the student and their institution to apply the scholarship in a way that is most beneficial to the student. This could include spreading it out over multiple semesters to meet their need or working with the student and their institution to reduce the self-help portions of their institutional aid package like loans and work-study.
We will have steps on the backend of the scholarship system to verify whether students have taken a particular action and where they enroll in college. For actions that students take outside the College Board’s web properties, scholarship recipients will need to provide confirmation after being selected. As an example, for the Complete the FAFSA step, students will need to provide their FAFSA submission confirmation email after being notified they were awarded that scholarship. For the Apply to Colleges step, students will be required to submit proof of their college application(s) after being notified that they were awarded that scholarship.
Students can qualify for this action based on improving their score by 100 points from the PSAT/NMSQT to an SAT or by 100 points from an SAT to another SAT.
The student’s first assessment score is what the improvement is based on. If a student took the PSAT/NMSQT, they qualify for the Improve step whenever they score 100 points higher on the SAT, no matter how many times they take the test. If a student has only taken the SAT, they will qualify whenever they have improved their score 100 points from their first SAT, even if it takes them multiple attempts.
Yes. They can also earn multiple scholarships in the same month (e.g., Improve and Apply scholarships) and earn the same scholarship in different months (e.g., Practice scholarship in February and April).
When a student earns a College Board Opportunity Scholarship, we will ask for their permission to share their name in promotional materials. If a student is under 18, we will ask for parent permission to highlight their child as a winner.
The College Board is committed to keeping student information safe and secure. We collect personal information only to administer tests and deliver educational opportunities to students. We give students and families complete discretion as to how much additional information they disclose, beyond the minimum information needed to connect students with college success, including registering for the SAT or saving college lists. The same will be true for the College Board Opportunity Scholarships.