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Articles / Applying to College / Can I Send Test Scores to Colleges That Haven't Heard of Me Yet?

Can I Send Test Scores to Colleges That Haven't Heard of Me Yet?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Feb. 1, 2012

Question: Do you have to wait until you get some type of letter from a school to send them your ACT results or can you just send them to the school out of the blue with out them even knowing that you are thinking about their college?

Good question! Colleges are accustomed to receiving SAT and ACT scores for students who haven’t yet applied … and, often, who haven’t even expressed any other sort of interest either. This is inevitable because students commonly take these tests as early as freshman or sophomore year in high school and almost always by the end of junior year, well before applications are submitted. Many want to take advantage of their “free” score reports, even if they’re not 100 percent certain of where they’ll end up applying.

Thus the colleges all have their own systems of filing away the scores they receive until the applications start to roll in. Then they will check their files to see if they have scores on record that match the applications.

So don’t worry about college admission staff tossing your scores in the trash while exclaiming, “Who the heck is this kid?” They’ll figure out what to do with those scores once you eventually apply. And also don’t worry about sending scores to a college that you may ultimately scratch from you list. The colleges will figure that out, too.

(posted 2/1/2012)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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