Students who still have not qualified for the $4,750-per-year Promise Scholarship for the upcoming academic year will be able to take the ACT at many West Virginia colleges through the end of September.
The state Higher Education Policy Commission, which oversees the scholarship for both four- and two-year in-state colleges, announced the move Wednesday. Spokesperson Jessica Tice said the College Board didn’t offer a similar option for its college-entrance exam, the SAT.
This new chance to qualify for the Promise for the upcoming academic year is available only to those who applied before March 1.
Despite the pandemic ending in-person high school classes during seniors’ final semester and forcing the cancellation of some ACT and SAT testing dates, the Higher Education Policy Commission has kept the college entrance exam score requirement for the scholarship.
Tice said removing the requirement would cost $38 million more over the next four years because more students would qualify.
The newly allowed ACT testing at specific colleges means students can apply for and begin attending in-state colleges, some of which have already announced they are restarting classes in August. Students who qualify for the Promise would be able to use the scholarship to pay for college expenses for the following up to four years.
As previously announced, the commission will also accept scores from regular SAT and ACT test dates through Oct. 31 to qualify for Promise in the upcoming academic year. That’s a month after it stops accepting scores from these special ACT tests being offered at colleges.
Normally, students are not eligible to earn the Promise after they begin attending college.
If students missed the March 1 deadline to apply for the scholarship, they can still qualify by putting off college and applying later. Students must apply for the scholarship within two years of graduating high school.
Information regarding registration, testing dates and possible fees is available by contacting the specific college offering the test. The contact information is available at wvhepc.edu/coronavirus.
The participating colleges are Alderson Broaddus University, Appalachian Bible College, Bluefield State College, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Marshall University, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Shepherd University, University of Charleston, West Liberty University, West Virginia University, West Virginia Wesleyan College, West Virginia Northern Community College and West Virginia State University.
Students should take the test at the college they plan to attend, according to the release. Colleges may also accept the score earned there to meet qualifications for things specific to that school, such as acceptance into the college and scholarships.
The next regular SAT test dates students can register for are in August, September and October. The next regular ACT test dates are in September and October.
On the regular tests, enter the code 4539 when taking the ACT and 3456 on the SAT to ensure the Promise program gets your scores most quickly.
In order to qualify for the Promise Scholarship, students must score at least an 1100 on the SAT, with at least 520 in math and 530 in the evidence-based reading and writing section, or they need a 22 composite ACT score, with at least a 20 in the subjects of English, reading, math and science.