PBHS continues to offer ACT for free despite state cut
Posted on 02/06/2018

The Poplar Bluff School District will offer the ACT exam to High School juniors one time free of charge in April.

The college admissions test, previously state-funded, was cut from the Missouri budget this school year. To eliminate the possible barrier preventing students from exploring college options, the R-I Board of Education voted unanimously in November to pick up the tab – at a discounted group rate. 

“Our local board was gracious enough to allow us to do this,” said Scott Dill, superintendent. “It’s one of those threshold moments in a student’s academic career that may be a deciding factor in whether or not a student extends education to a post-secondary environment.” 

Student ACT participation more than doubled since the fee was waived during 2014/15, according to information PBHS Principal Mike Owen reported to the school board. In a survey asking over 300 juniors whether they would be interested in taking the exam voluntarily, at no cost, half signed up. 

Over 60 percent of PBHS students go on to college, according to the district report card recently released by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Of that percentage, about 20 percent of graduates go straight to four-year higher education institutions. 

The ACT is accepted at all universities in the United States, and is the predominant college placement test used in the Midwest, according to Tamara Day, PBHS counseling department head. 

“With the opportunity to take it for free, a student who may be wouldn’t have taken it otherwise, could score better than they imagined, and realize: ‘I am college material. I have what it takes,’” Day stated. 

The four-hour test will be offered free of charge on Tuesday, April 3, at PBHS with a make-up date of Tuesday, April 24. The test may be retaken up to six additional times at a cost of $46 or $62.50 including the writing component. 

For more information, contact the counseling center at 573-785-6471.


Cutline: Dr. Regina Williams, PBHS guidance counselor, hosts the first of a series of CAPS (college application party and scholarship) meetings on Tuesday, Jan. 30, in the cafeteria to assist senior advisory classes in applying to colleges or submitting scholarship applications.

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