For the first time, Prince George’s County seniors interested in taking the SAT won’t have to spend the roughly $50 it can cost to take the college entrance exam.
The Prince George’s County school system is partnering with the College Board, a national nonprofit organization that in part assists students with college plans, to be part of the SAT School Day on Oct. 17. Through this program, students can take the exam — at no cost — during the regular school day. They have until Oct. 3 to register.
“We wanted to provide our seniors with an opportunity to take an assessment that will assist them in preparing for their post secondary experience and to create a college-going culture in our schools,” said Monica Goldson, acting chief operating officer of Prince George’s County Public Schools.
The test, which lasts three hours and 45 minutes, will be administered to students at all high schools except the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College, Annapolis Road Academy Alternate, Crossland Evening High School, Green Valley Academy High School and Northwestern Evening High School.
James Montoya, College Board’s vice president, said the SAT School Day helps districts foster a college-going culture and increases access to college, especially among first-generation, college-bound students.
“When used with other measures, aggregate SAT data can be helpful in assessing the effectiveness of a district’s or state’s educational policies and programs to determine how well they are serving all of their students,” Montoya said.
The county school system is paying for the SAT School Day, but the cost to the county won’t be determined until officials see how many students sign up for the program, according to Briant Coleman, a school system spokesman. He said the county is paying $32.11 per student.
According to Leslie Sepuka, a College Board spokeswoman, Prince George’s is the only county in the state that has signed up so far to participate in the SAT School Day this academic year.
The College Board has partnered with public school systems in Delaware, Idaho and Maine, as well as specific school districts in Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington, to offer students the opportunity to take the SAT for free, Montoya said.
Students who sign up for the program will also get free access to The Official SAT Online Course, The Official SAT Question of the Day and Skills Insight, which provide preparation and skills assessment. They will get four free score reports that can be sent to colleges and scholarship services and can research colleges and universities on www.bigfuture.org.
To register for the SAT School Day, students should go to http://sat.org/fallsatschoolday. They will need access to an e-mail account, and can get a free College Board online account, a state identification number and an SAT student voucher from their high school counselors.