Governor Gina Raimondo has announced a new program to pay for SAT and PSAT testing for public high school 10th and 11th graders.
Governor Gina Raimondo is requesting 500-thousand dollars from the General Assembly, to cover the cost of testing. Currently, students pay $54 to take the SAT and $15 for the PSAT. The SAT, or a similar test, is required to apply to many colleges.
Raimondo said she hopes to encourage more public school students to take the test.
“Last year, only sixty percent of Rhode Island high school students, took the SAT,” said Raimondo. “We’re one of the lowest in New England. And for people of color and poorer students, less than half of them took the SAT.”
The program will cover the test once, though many students choose to take the SATs multiple times. Raimondo said she’s also hoping to provide help with test-prep in the future. State education commissioner Ken Wagner said he hopes increased access to the tests will encourage more students to pursue higher education.
"We know that information on a test like the SAT is just really important feedback," said Rhode Island Education Commissioner Ken Wagner. "And when students get that feedback, more and more students actually consider applying to and going to a two-year school, a four-year school, and opening up a pathway they might not currently consider."
Some 20,000 students would be eligible to take it for free under Raimondo’s proposal, which will be part of her formal budget proposal on Tuesday.