Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
  • Stanford University
  • Princeton University

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    International Office Director

SAT Fact: Pay More, Get Higher Score?

Karl Schellscheidt -

A new study spearheaded by Ohio State University professor Claudi Buchman announced that children from higher-income families are the ones most likely to attend private SAT prep classes and to receive private tutoring. The article then noted that the children who took private SAT prep classes averaged 60 points higher on the SAT than those who did not attend such classes. At an average of $800 for such a class, that equates to $13 per SAT score point! While the article did not offer statistics regarding the scores of those students who received private tutoring, it did note that self-help books appear to be the least effective means of preparing.

In a nutshell, the article reaffirms what I have believed for a long time: The average teenager needs guidance and advice in order to significantly increase his/her SAT score.

There is one factor, however, that the article did not mention that I would like to highlight. A student’s level of motivation is a key factor in improving an SAT score. I have seen motivated students with no support excel and I have seen apathetic students with the best help money can buy underachieve.

The article has prompted me to reaffirm my commitment to making a site dedicated to offering any motivated student, regardless of socio-economic status, expert guidance and advice on SAT preparation. I hope you tell a friend about the site.

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