Officials for the nonprofit College Board are issuing a clarion call for both high-achieving and low-income high school seniors to take advantage of a new program that offers $40,000 in higher education scholarships.
The board, which administers the SAT and Advanced Placement tests, has come under renewed scrutiny following claims by advocates of minority students that its standardized tests are discriminatory toward against Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans.
College Board CEO David Coleman told ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday that the board’s purpose is to clear paths that ensures “all” students can own their future.
“So, we’ve been inspired to offer [the] new scholarship program, having heard from families of students across the country that going to college is too complicated and too expensive,” Coleman said. “The College Board Opportunity Scholarship offers six simple steps that any kid can take to go to college, and doing each step offers them a chance for a $40,000 scholarship.”
Coleman added that the new grant is “different,” considering most scholarships are only aimed at the best athletes or best students.
“These scholarships are not about how high you score, they’re about how much you grow,” Coleman said. “They are not about where you start — it’s about how far you’ve come. With these scholarships, we’re calling all kids — not just those at the front of the class — to step forward.”
Matthew Blue, 19, a student at Langston University in Oklahoma, lists among students benefiting from the scholarships.
Blue, poised for a career in radio announcing, also appeared on “GMA.”
Raised in the home of a single mother, the former high school football player said finding money for college had been difficult and that he’d worried about remaining at Langston.
“I’d applied to different scholarships, but didn’t get the [needed] results,” Blue said. “But I’d keep [trying].”
Coleman said most scholarships start by writing an essay or filling out a tedious application.
“However, in this case, [applicants can] go to cb.org/opportunity, make a starter list of six colleges they want to go attend,” he said. “Just doing that earns them a chance for a scholarship.”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story misstated the funding source for the College Board’s Opportunity Scholarship. The board is funding the scholarship itself.