Am I eligible for an ACT fee waiver?

If you are testing on a national test date and can’t afford the registration fee for the ACT or ACT with writing, you may be eligible for an ACT Fee Waiver. Information about the eligibility requirements and how to request a fee waiver is sent each summer to high schools.  You should work with your local high school to determine your eligibility.

You must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. Currently enrolled in high school in the 11th or 12th grade.
  2. Either a United States citizen or testing in the US, US territories, or Puerto Rico.
  3. Meet one or more indicators of economic need listed on the ACT Fee Waiver form.

If you are eligible, you may use a maximum of two separate fee waivers total. The waiver is used once you register, even if you do not test on the requested test date.

IMPORTANT: To take full advantage of the waiver, you must follow through and test on your registered test date.

Fee waivers cover only the basic registration fee for your test option on a national test date, including up to four college choices (if you provide valid codes when you register). Waivers do not cover the late registration fee, test date or test center changes, standby fee, additional score reports, or any other services.

You cannot request a fee waiver directly from ACT; you must contact your high school counselor. If you receive an ACT Fee Waiver Form, follow the “Student Directions” on it for your registration method (or if requesting Special Testing).

Note: If you register online, and register during the late period or request any additional services, you must enter a credit card to pay those fees before submitting your registration.

Rising to the Challenge: Are Recent High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work?

Parents Say Better Communication from Schools Needed to Help their Children Graduate College and Career Ready


Washington, D.C. – October 8, 2015 – The third and final phase of a new national survey released by Achieve – Rising to the Challenge: Are Recent High School Graduates Prepared for College and Work – shows that better communication between high schools and parents is needed to address the disconnect between parents and students, faculty, and employers in perceptions of recent graduates’ readiness for life after high school. This survey builds upon Achieve’s 2014 survey of recent high school graduates and 2015 survey of employers and college faculty about recent graduates’ preparedness for success in college and careers.

84% of parents are at least somewhat satisfied with the job their child’s high school did of preparing them for success after high school, but only 56% of employers and 35% of college instructors are satisfied with the preparation of the graduates they teach and hire. Similarly, 73% of parents of college students believe that high school prepared their children extremely or very well for academic work in college – but only 53% of students themselves agree.

“Parents are more likely than faculty, employers, or even students to believe that their children are ready for their next steps upon graduation from high school,” said Sandy Boyd, Chief Operating Officer of Achieve. “Part of the disconnect between parents and others is that parents lack the information they need to guide their students. Parents report wanting more communication from schools to better understand what their children need to be ready and how they can help.”

More than half of parents report that their child’s high school communicated with them too little. The dissatisfaction with school communication is even higher in schools in which parents say their children were not challenged academically; 82% of parents whose children attended schools in which they experienced low academic expectations say that the school could have done better or did not provide clear information on the requirements and coursework needed for college.

Parents whose children attended high schools with low academic expectations were also most likely to express a desire for higher standards; 79% of these parents believe that having higher academic expectations would have helped improve their child’s preparedness for life after high school. Just one-third of parents reported that their child’s school set high expectations that significantly challenged their student.

Parents of children who attended high schools with low academic expectations were most likely to report that the school fell short in other areas as well.

  • 72% feel their schools fell short in providing real-world learning opportunities to their students, compared with 48% of parents whose children attended schools with moderate expectations and 20% of parents whose children experienced high expectations.
  • 54% feel their schools fell short in their Honors, AP, IB, and college-level course offerings, compared with 22% of parents at moderate expectations schools and 7% of parents at high expectations schools.
  • 64% feel their schools fell short in urging students to take the most advanced math and science course offerings, compared with 33% of parents at moderate expectations schools and 8% of parents at high expectations schools.

Parents agree that requiring more math and science would help increase preparedness for success after high school.

  • 61% of parents believe that requiring students to pass four years of math, including Algebra II, would have helped their child’s preparedness.
  • 56% of parents believe that requiring students to pass biology, chemistry, and physics would have helped their child’s preparedness.

Parents of children not enrolled in college are less optimistic about their preparation.

  • Just 45% of parents of non-college students believe that high school prepared their children well with the skills, abilities, and work habits expected in the working world.
  • By contrast, 73% of parents of college students believe that high school prepared their children well for academic work in college.

Parents and students agree that they would have done things differently.

  • 67% of parents indicate that they would have been more involved in their child’s high school education if they were to do it over again.
  • 60% of college students and 58% of non-students say that they would have worked harder in high school if they knew then what they know now about the expectations of colleges and the workplace.

Findings are based on a national online survey conducted online and by telephone from August 17-31, 2015, among 917 parents of recent public high school graduates from the classes of 2011-2014, including:

  • 568 parents of children who are currently enrolled in or recent graduates of two-year and four-year colleges
  • 349 parents of children who are not currently enrolled in and have not graduated from two-year or four-year colleges

“Parents have an enormous impact on the academic success of their children, but they need to be equipped with better information about what it takes to succeed after high school,” said Boyd.

Please click here to view a slide deck that examines the full set of survey results.

Rising to the Challenge.pdf



All students should graduate from high school ready for college, careers, and citizenship.

Are you a college parent for the first time?

Was it really three years ago that we moved our daughter into the dorms?  It feels like it was just yesterday.  We read through the list of things to gather or buy wondering if she really needed all the stuff.  I can still feel the stress that came with renting a loft bed, arrange for it to be delivered to her room, finding the notorious XL twin sheet in the right color, printing off the directions and packing the tools to assembly it.  I remember conquering the mountain of boxes and storage totes that were loaded into the truck and unpacking them in what felt like the world’s smallest bedroom.  Then climbing up to make the bed for her and praying the whole time she didn’t fall off in the middle of the night.  You could cut the tension with a knife when we met the roommate for the first time.  The mixed bag of feelings I had when we drove away because I was leaving my child in this new world still brings tears to my eyes.

The links below offer some hints for dealing with moving your student to college.  I especially like the idea about wearing sunglasses and the quick good bye.

How to Say Goodbye to Your College Freshman:  8 Ways to Help Your College Freshman Get Started
Getting Ready for College Move-In Day:  9 Tips for the Best College Move-in Day
Getting Along With a College Roommate:  6 Ways to Improve Roommate Relationships


Is Your Child Ready for the SAT/ACT?

March2Success(1).jpgMake sure your teen is adequately preparing for college entrance exams but aren’t sure where to start.
Check out March2Success, the U.S. Army’s free online tool to help students improve their scores on standardized tests such as state exit exams, SAT, ACT and ASVAB.
The program allows students to pave their own path based on their individual strengths and areas for improvement.

Hitting the Road after High School

Many high school students have no idea what they want to do after they graduate. A new booklet, cowritten by teens for teens, helps young people with disabilities:

  • Explore their post-high school options
  • Make choices that are right for them
  • Find activities they can do now to get ready
  • Access support services to help them succeed

PDF: Career opportunities for teens with disabilities