On March 5, College Possible Chicago hosted more than 70 high school juniors for a full-length SAT practice test at Dominican University. The practice exam is an essential step in preparing for the official, “Real-Deal” SAT that College Possible juniors take each spring. In addition to the practice test, students also had the opportunity to explore Dominican’s campus through a guided tour and learn about the application process from a panel of admissions officers and current students at the university.
Since joining the program this past fall, juniors have been participating in weekly sessions, led by their coach, to learn content and tactics to help them on the SAT. Historically, College Possible coaches have helped students increase their SAT scores by an average of 80 points each year.
Strong SAT scores can enhance a student’s college application, helping them qualify for their best “match” and “fit” schools where they are most likely to persist and thrive. Even more, a student’s SAT score can open the doors to competitive scholarships that would otherwise not be available to them.
While the SAT can make a key difference when applying for college, students from low-income backgrounds – like College Possible students – often do not have access to the same quality test-prep materials and resources as their peers from higher-income backgrounds. According to Common App data, students from low-income backgrounds have submitted SAT scores to colleges at far lower rates than their higher-income peers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through targeted, near-peer coaching and support, College Possible is working to close this gap, providing students the tools they need to earn admission to their best-fit colleges and, ultimately, persist and graduate with their degree.