ACT Parent

In this issue

Life After High School

If you're the parent of a high school senior, you've watched your student work hard the past few months. Filling out applications, applying for financial aid, writing essays, asking for references—and continuing to work toward high school graduation—are all part of planning for life after high school.

Now is the waiting season. April is the month many colleges send out financial aid offers to incoming students who have applied for assistance. These letters detail the cost—the college's tuition and fees—plus the amount of financial aid available through the school. We'll discuss how to interpret financial aid offers in an upcoming edition of ACT Parent.

"What Will I Be When I Grow Up?"

You can help your child explore possible answers to this question via the ACT Career Club, a prototype career discovery site in the Whyville virtual world.

ACT invites students ages 8 through 15 to visit the ACT Career Clubhouse, where they can have fun while gathering information on as many as 555 unique occupations, grouped into six areas of interest ranging from science and technology to the arts. By playing an interactive digital game called CareerQuest, teens and tweens can investigate a wide variety of different occupations and potential careers—and discover professions that may surprise them.

Whyville is a web-based virtual world that provides educational experiences through games and role-playing. Whyville "citizens" design their own avatars to travel among an array of clubhouses, shops, and museums. They have the opportunity to play for "clams," the official Whyville currency.

Based on ACT's extensive research in education and the workplace, the Career Club is designed to be fun for students and a useful tool for parents and educators. Encourage your child to visit the ACT Career Club and begin the quest for his or her future occupation.

ACT Score Reports: Can You Say Free?

Did you know your student can send up to four free ACT score reports when registering for the ACT Test? In fact, 60% of the graduating class of 2012 submitted their ACT scores to at least one college or university at the time of registration; 34% of graduates used all four free score reports. Why is this important? It saves money and time. Read more about score reports.

Understanding ACT Scores Via CollegeWeekLive

Tune into CollegeWeekLive on March 21 at 4:00 p.m. EST to hear ACT's Joe Cruse present on "Understanding Your ACT Score." Cruse, director, client relations, is one of many college admissions experts participating in All Access Zone on March 20 and 21.

All Access Zone is a free two-day online event offering tips to prospective college students and their parents. You and your teen can hear firsthand from current students and admissions representatives at 300+ colleges; get expert advice on scholarships, choosing courses, and more; and enter to win $5,000 toward college tuition. Sign up to participate.

The Lazy Days of Summer...Not!

Perhaps you've started getting fliers in the mail about summer camps or programs for your child. This is the perfect time to begin planning exciting and educational activities to keep those lazy days of summer from becoming too relaxing.

If your teen is old enough, talk about possible part-time or full-time employment. The skills your teen learns on the job could pay big dividends in both school and career planning. Alternatively, encourage your student to arrange an internship in a field that he or she is considering. Your student may find he or she loves the work or, just as importantly, discovers that the job is much different than expected.

For younger students, explore classes and clubs that challenge them to learn new skills. Team sports teach important life lessons and they're fun, no matter what your child's skill level.

Summer is the perfect time to seek out new hobbies and interests. Have a budding photographer? A creative writer? A math whiz? A forensic scientist? Check out programs at local community colleges, universities, parks and recreation departments, community centers, or private schools. Jump online or read your local newspaper for more ideas. Most of these types of enrichment programs are free or low cost, and some may even offer scholarships.

Summer school or private tutoring is another option to consider. If your student needs a little extra help in a subject area, enroll him or her in a class to get caught up. Balance this work with a large dose of summertime fun.

Camp—whether it's the old-fashioned kind with cabins, sleeping bags, and bonfires or more targeted such as cheerleading, math, or basketball camp—is a great way to give your teenager a small taste of independence. Do some research to find just the right program for your teen. Make sure the camp has a good reputation and is financially feasible for your family. Remember to ask about scholarships or financial aid.

Whether your teen works, takes classes, attends summer school, or goes to camp, make sure this time is memorable, exciting, and filled with new experiences.

ACT Poster Contest Winners Announced

ACT has announced the winners of its 2013 annual high school poster contest. The winning students' posters were selected from nearly 700 entries submitted from 48 states.

Emily Ballentine, a senior at Springfield Clark Career Technology Center in Springfield, Ohio, is this year's first-place winner. Ballentine will receive a $5,000 scholarship to the college of her choice. Her winning poster, "Colleges Are Looking for You," is designed to encourage high school students to take the ACT Test as a way to make it easier for colleges to find students. She credits her computer graphic arts teacher, Linda Cabaluna, for encouraging her. Ballentine hopes to enroll in a graphic design program after graduation, possibly at Columbus College of Art & Design.

Second-place finisher Preston Sitorus of Bradshaw Christian High School in Sacramento, California, will receive a $2,500 scholarship for his entry, "Find Out What You're Made Of." A senior and co-president of the BCHS Student Council, Sitorus plans to major in biology at a California university. Sitorus said he was surprised to receive the award, given the hundreds of entries from artists nationwide. He noted that he wanted to use "a simple but striking design" that would entice students to find out more about "the wonderful opportunities" that await those who take the ACT Test.

Deborah Yu will receive a $1,000 scholarship for her third-place entry, "The Future Starts Here." Yu is a senior at Marquette High School in Chesterfield, Missouri. She plans to study computer science at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Yu said she wanted her poster artwork to convey that a decision about college enrollment is a critical factor in students' futures. "The ACT is really the gateway to future success," she said.

The purpose of the ACT high school poster is to encourage students to plan and prepare for college and the ACT Test. Winners were selected based on the poster's creativity, visual appeal, and overall impact. Ballentine's winning design will be printed and mailed to 30,000 high schools nationwide. To view the winning entries, visit this site.

Scholarship Alert

Deadlines are fast approaching for some of the national scholarships that ACT helps develop and manage. Remind your student to check to see whether he or she qualifies for these options.

  • Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program: Every year, Kohl's recognizes and rewards young volunteers from across the country who have made a difference in their communities. Persons aged 21 or older can nominate volunteers ages 6 to 18. Top winners each receive $10,000 for higher education. Application deadline is March 15.
  • Nordstrom Scholarship Program: The Nordstrom Scholarship Program recognizes students across the country for their exceptional scholastic achievement and community involvement. Awards of $2,500 per year; $10,000 over four years. Application deadline is May 1.
  • MassMutual Scholars Program: A national scholarship program for high-achieving college students of African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic descent interested in pursuing careers in the insurance and financial services industry. Awards vary from $2,500 to $5,000. Application deadline is May 3.

2013-2014 ACT Test Date Schedule

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline
(extra fees required)
Photo Upload Deadline
April 13, 2013 March 8, 2013 March 9-22, 2013April 9, 2013
June 8, 2013 May 3, 2013 May 4-17, 2013June 4, 2013
September 21, 2013 available soon available soonavailable soon
October 26, 2013 available soon available soonavailable soon
December 14, 2013 available soon available soonavailable soon
February 8, 2014* available soon available soonavailable soon
April 12, 2014 available soon available soonavailable soon
*No test centers are scheduled in New York for the February test date.

NOTE: Registration deadlines for 2013–2014 will be announced shortly. We will add deadlines to this table once we get the information. You can also check here.

ACT is committed to providing students a fair and equal opportunity to demonstrate their independent academic achievement. To that end, we have implemented additional safeguards to further ensure ACT score integrity. One of these safeguards is the requirement for students to provide a photo when they register.

Photos must be provided by the photo upload deadline for each test date. If the deadline is missed, the registration will be cancelled and the student will not be admitted to test.

Click here for details on all ACT test security requirements.

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