The SAT is an entrance exam most colleges and universities use to gauge a high school student’s readiness for college coursework. It’s an important aspect of a student’s application to college, alongside their high school GPA and coursework, letters of recommendation, admission essays and extracurricular activities.
The better a student’s SAT score, the more options become available to them for attending college and earning scholarships.
College Board, the institution that created and administers the SAT exam, have come under scrutiny as researchers have found correlations between SAT scores, race, and income, “the higher one's family income, the higher one's test score.” These findings indicate that SAT prep is more paramount for low-income and underrepresented students of color
However, SAT prep courses are overwhelmingly expensive and are therefore, inaccessible to inner-city students.
The minimum cost for 18 hours of SAT prep from popular SAT prep companies, Kaplan and Princeton Review, is $899
Wealthy families have a cultural and racial advantage with the SAT exam and experience no difficulty in accessing expensive SAT prep.
Dorson Community Foundation (DCF), in its mission to provide college readiness programming to inner-city high school students, recognized the importance of offering affordable SAT prep.
In 2002, DCF launched its low-cost SAT prep program that gives students the preparation they need to succeed on the SAT. The course is taught by paid and experienced teachers in and around Essex county. Throughout the year, Dorson offers six four-week SAT prep sessions. For $75, students can attend an unlimited number of sessions and receive a prep book.
Like any other SAT prep course, students learn valuable test-taking strategies such as how to eliminate wrong answers, skim through lengthy paragraphs, and pace themselves through the exam. The program also offers students the opportunity to take a diagnostic test to assess their level of preparation and give students a feel of the actual SAT exam.
The success of the students who have taken the SAT prep course speaks for itself.
90% of DCF alums have reported an increase in their SAT scores and some have seen their scores increased by up to 300 points.
The program has proven beneficial to past students who have maximized on the sessions. Cristin Payne, a past student now enrolled at Howard University stated that “Attending the SAT Prep program was one of the best academic decisions I’ve ever made. No one ever ceased to help in whatever I needed, and they worked endlessly to make sure that I got the score that I wanted.”
SAT prep is expensive but remains a necessity in the college admission process. For $75, DCF offers affordable SAT prep and increases college access for low-income families in Essex County.
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