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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

Comparing SAT cost vs ACT cost – is there a big difference?

I'm trying to decide whether to take the SAT or the ACT, but I'm on a tight budget. Can anyone break down the costs for me? Does one tend to be more expensive than the other, including any additional fees? Also, if there are fee waivers, how do you get one? Much appreciated!

7 months ago

Hello! I understand your concern regarding the costs of standardized tests. Generally, the base cost for the SAT and the ACT are quite similar, but the ACT includes a Science section and an optional Writing (essay) portion that can affect the cost. As of the last time I checked, the SAT costs $55 without the essay, and the ACT costs $60 without the writing section and $85 with it. These prices can vary by location and over time, so it's best to check the official College Board and ACT websites for the most current fee structures.

For additional fees, both tests have charges for late registration, changing your test center or test date, and sending score reports to more than four colleges. If you're on a budget, keep in mind that both the College Board and ACT offer fee waivers for students who demonstrate financial need. These waivers cover the cost of the test and can even waive some of the additional fees associated with score reporting.

To obtain a fee waiver, speak with your high school counselor—they will have the necessary forms and can help you determine if you're eligible. They can also provide guidance on which test may be best suited to your strengths. Best of luck with your testing and college application process!

7 months ago

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