Free ACT no longer available after this year

Not offering free ACT puts juniors at a disadvantage


Photo Illustration by Lukas Levin

Alexis Machoka

The ACT, a required test for most college acceptance, will no longer be free at Park starting next year. Not offering the free ACT at the school will put students who come from lower income families at a disadvantagestudents who already have it hard enough will now have one more thing to worry about.

Up until last year, ACT tests were reimbursed by the state. However, this spring will only reimburse the school for  students who are eligible for free and reduced lunch.

Just because students don’t qualify for free and reduced lunch, does not mean their family can afford the test fee. There are varying levels of poverty at park.

It’s ridiculous that students’ families who are just trying to make ends meet will now be expected to pay for a test required by many college applications. According to U.S. news 95 percent of colleges say they either require the SAT or ACT for admission. As diverse as Park is, the administration should understand there are also diverse income levels. Administrators should make it possible for every Park student to have an equal opportunity to move on to a post-secondary education, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Not providing the free ACT is continuing to put a specific demographic of students at a disadvantage. Making students pay for the ACT is just another way of giving already privileged students an advantage.

All students should have equal opportunities to be successful.”

— Alexis Machoka

Kids whose parents went to college and have jobs that allow them to be financially stable will be able to afford the $62.50 fee for the ACT. Students whose parents have not had the opportunity to go to college will continue to struggle because they may not be able to afford the test their child requires to get into most colleges. For some, $62.50 isn’t very much, but for low income families, that’s money some can’t spare.

Even if students may be able to afford the price of an ACT at one point, they may not be able to afford it the next. Most students take the ACT multiple times which adds up to around $125.

Not providing the free ACT at the school creates more barriers for students than just the fact that students will need to pay for the test, they will also have to schedule a test and get to the testing location. For students who have involved parents, this may seem like an easy task but for others, that is not the case. Not all families have cars or even internet access at their house to register for the test.

If Park really wants to ensure the student body reaches its full potential, then they will do all they can to keep the free ACT at Park. The ACT needs to be free not only at Park but at all schools.