Tenth-graders at Berkeley High School will take the Preliminary SAT — the practice test for the real thing — for free tomorrow morning. Word has it that an anonymous donor picked up the tab to encourage more kids to take it.
The test normally costs about $15, so if all 875 sophomores showed up, that could amount to a $13,000 donation. I’d say that’s a pretty nice gesture.
Kids are encouraged to take the PSAT in the fall of their 10th-grade and 11th-grade years, and not just for the practice. Those who fill in enough of the right bubbles might qualify for college funding, including the National Merit Scholarship.
About 2,300 Oakland sophomores signed up for this week’s PSAT, which is about two-thirds of the 10th-grade class. The district’s goal is for all of its 10th-graders to take it.
How much of a deterrent is the testing fee for high school students? There is a low-income fee reduction for high school juniors, but not sophomores. If a generous donor stepped up to cover the costs here in Oakland, would more kids show up to take it? Has anyone done that here?
image by midnight_peace89′s site at flickr.com/creativecommons