Taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test gives high school students a sense of how ready they are for college. Now, it also may give them some additional connections to pay for it.
The College Board, which administers the PSAT/NMSQT, is sharing exam results with more scholarship-granting organizations for test takers who give their consent, according to Glenn Milewski, the executive director in the assessment division of the College Board, the New York City-based organization that operates the testing program.
Five new organizations have partnered with the College Board to help inform low-income and minority students about the $180 million they award each year. The scholarship providers include:
College Board will send the organizations test results and contact information on students who fit the criteria they requested. The organizations will then reach out to students by mail and email with materials about their scholarships.
Last October, 3.8 million high school students took the PSAT.
“There are a lot of students who are not aware of available scholarships,” said Milewski in a phone interview. “If more students take the test, it gives our partners a bigger pool to recruit.”
Although the initiative ties the PSAT to many scholarships, students who don’t take the College Board test will still be able to apply to the programs, added Milewski.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has had a long-standing relationship with the College Board in granting its scholarships based on students’ performance on this exam.
The College Board does not charge the organizations for the data and Milewski said it hopes other scholarship organizations will join the outreach effort.
A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.