The ACT lets you send your scores for free to four colleges. Students wonder whether they should and which schools to choose. Some pundits suggest not to because selecting this option means you won’t get to review the scores before they’re sent. OnToCollege disagrees.
Most colleges will consider only your highest composite ACT. Some colleges will consider only your super-score, the average of your four highest sub-scores, even if they occur on different tests. So just pick four schools that interest you; they’ll appreciate your interest and start marketing to you.
If this new score isn’t your highest, those four colleges will overlook it. If it is, you just saved the $12 fee to have the ACT send your official score report to each of those colleges.
However, there is one exception. If you have already hammered a big score and you have one or two favorite selective colleges, do not send any more scores automatically to those schools just in case you have a bad day and your score drops two or more points. That new lower number might cause them to question the earlier higher number.
For example, if you automatically sent your earlier score of 25 but your eventual highest score is a 31, colleges will be impressed and only consider the 31. But if you automatically send the 25 after the earlier 31, the 25 makes the 31 look suspect.
Otherwise, choose four schools that interest you, schools that you want to start paying attention to you, and take advantage of a rare example of something associated with college that is free.
Above all, don’t sweat this decision. It’s not a big deal. Other than the exception described above, those four colleges will only consider your best composite score or your super-score. There are important strategies for getting into that highly selective college or winning that big scholarship, very important tactics to consider, but whether you choose to automatically send your ACT scores to four colleges is not one.