Merit aid is often awarded based on GPA and test scores. Significantly changing your GPA is challenging, especially if you’re already a junior. So knocking it out of the park on the SAT or ACT is one of the best quick-fixes around for increasing your chances of receiving merit aid.

With spring test dates approaching, now is the time to look at preparing for the tests. A test prep course can be one of the best investments a family can make because a bump in your student’s test scores can translate into thousands of dollars of financial aid. Your high school’s college counseling center should be able to recommend a test prep plan or course that’s appropriate for your student’s academic needs and your family’s budget.

Upcoming (2015) test dates for the SAT are May 2 (register by April 6) and June 6 (register by May 8). Register here.

Upcoming (2015) test dates for the ACT are April 18 (late registration by March 27) and June 13 (register by May 8). Register here.