Better Returns than Buffet's: The Bright Futures Scholarship

The Investment Value of Test Prep for the SAT & ACT

By: Jason Robinovitz | Last Updated: October 3, 2021

warren buffet

We understand that Return On Investment can go hand-in-hand with risk: no pain, no gain. But how would you respond to a proposed investment of $2,000 that could result in saving between $19,759 (a 957% return on your money) and $30,528 (a 1,526% return on your money) over roughly four years? While this investment isn’t risk-free, it is low risk, assuming you have a student willing to work hard and follow instruction. Simply put, this investment is in test preparation for the SAT and ACT! When paired with a motivated student (and the right test-prep tutor), the result is a hefty scholarship from Florida’s Bright Futures Scholarships (BFSs).

Ever since the scholarship’s inception about 20 years ago, Florida families with students who qualify for BFSs and who attend qualified Florida post-secondary educational institutions have saved tons of money on tuition. There are multiple ways to qualify (you can visit this link to learn about all of them): most students qualify by taking certain courses, achieving a GPA of 3.0 or better, attaining certain minimum scores on SAT or ACT tests, and accumulating certain levels of service hours while in high school.    

General qualifications for BFSs include

  • Florida residency and US citizenship (or being an eligible noncitizen, as determined by the post-secondary system being attended)
  • A Florida high school diploma or its equivalent from a Florida public high school or a registered Florida Department of Education private school
  • Completion of a Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) by August 31st of the year of high school graduation
  • Acceptance by, and enrollment in, a degree or certificate program at an eligible Florida postsecondary institution
  • Maintaining enrollment at that postsecondary institution for at least six (non-remedial) credit hours per term
  • Never having been convicted of (or pleaded “no contest” to) a felony charge

We focus here on two types of BFS awards, the Florida Academic Scholars (FAS) and the Florida Merit Scholars (FMS), with coursework, GPA, ACT/SAT minimum scores, and service hour requirements for both:

While some students can achieve the scores required by the BFS without any assistance, the vast majority require help. That’s where we come in – with private and/or group test prep –which forms the basis of the investment opportunity that we described above in the opening of this blog. We compared the financial costs to graduate from the 12 Florida State University System schools with the per-credit-hour awards for the FAS and FMS, calculated the savings accumulating using the credit hours needed to graduate, and then computed a return on investment based on a $2,000 investment in test prep (some families invest more, some less. We picked a round number reflecting a fairly rigorous test prep regime). Here are our findings:

Bright Futures Savings Over 4 Years and the ROI from test prep

The highest ROI, at a whopping 1,526% (saving you more than $30,000), would occur with a FAS award for a student attending the University of West Florida, and the lowest ROI, at a still-exceptionally-good 957% (a measly(!) $19,143.60 savings), would occur with a FMS award for a student attending FA&M, FGCU, FIU, FL Poly, FSU, New College, UF, UNF, or USF. Compared to Berkshire Hathaway's ROI over the last five years — approximately 12% — I'd take the test prep investment any day!

This isn’t rocket science: All of those ROIs are outstanding, and – because we’ve helped countless students increase their SAT and ACT scores – it’s well worth the “risk” to invest in test prep. Call us today to find out how we can help, or better yet, check out our Eagle Eye Test Prep promo that's available this summer!


Topics: ACT/SAT Test-Prep Financial Aid

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