Norwalk-La Mirada Unified invested more than $83,000 to provide free aptitude tests, including the SATs and PSATs, for more than 7,000 students in October.
Seniors took the SATs, sophomores and juniors took the PSATs and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT), and freshman took the PSAT 8/9 on Oct. 19, while eighth-graders took the PSAT 8/9 on Oct. 13.
“The District is committed to graduating students who are ready for college and careers,” Superintendent Dr. Hasmik Danielian said. “Waiving registration fees encourages our students to reach further in their academics and see what they can accomplish.”
The District encourages students to take the aptitude tests every year to become familiar with the format. Starting in eighth grade with the PSAT 8/9, test results inform students if they are on track to earn top scores by their senior year. Students who took the PSAT in October will receive results in January, when they can review their performance with counselors.
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified also aligned its academic calendar to better serve its students, beginning the school year in August to provide extra time for students to prepare for tests, and ending in May to allow graduates to enroll in summer prep classes, which generally start in early June.
“Norwalk-La Mirada Unified is dedicated to providing access and equity for our students,” NLMUSD Board of Education President Karen Morrison said. “By adjusting the academic calendar and covering registration fees for aptitude tests, we are boosting the level of success our students can reach.”
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified obtained fee waivers with discounts for all of its students through a partnership with the College Board, reducing the overall cost by thousands of dollars.
Additionally, seniors are eligible to waive application fees for up to four colleges and submit their SAT scores to these universities for free. The College Board also provides students who participate in the National School Lunch program with a fee waiver that will enable them to submit their scores to any college or university at no charge.