Free ACT testing makes college more accessible for Topeka students

Education 21st Century

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Most universities require high school students to take the ACT standardized test, but at $52, the price can stop some students from taking it at all.

To help with the cost, Topeka public schools has made the test free for some juniors and is giving students the option to take the test during the school day.

“We’ve had some students that it’s made the difference in qualifying to go to college or not,” said Dustin Dick, principal of Topeka West High School. “We’ve had others who increased to a level that would give them a full-ride scholarship versus a partial scholarship, so it’s made a significant difference.”

Tuesday will be a free testing day, something the district has done for four years. They have also put more emphasis on ACT preparation, which has helped Topeka students increase their scores.

“I don’t think that I would’ve gotten the scores that I did without this program, I didn’t know where to start and so I was able to be given the tools to know what I was doing,” said Lindy Karrer, a senior at Topeka West High School.

In addition to the district’s help, a recently launched program paid for by the state also allows students another opportunity to take the ACT for free. Dick said that’s meant about 75 percent of USD 501 students take the ACT before they graduate.

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