How to Send SAT Scores to Colleges: Step-by-Step Guide

Knowing how to send SAT scores can make college admissions less stressful. Learn how to ensure colleges receive your SAT score report in time.

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by Thomas Broderick

Published on June 29, 2022 · Updated on June 30, 2022

Edited by Tyler Epps
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How to Send SAT Scores to Colleges: Step-by-Step Guide
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Many admissions officers look at your SAT score report to determine your college readiness. Similarly, many scholarships review this information and award money to incoming students with a top SAT score. Colleges' and scholarships' application deadlines mean you must send your SAT score report in time.

Learning how to send SAT scores to colleges and scholarship programs takes only a few minutes. Read on to learn how much it costs to send SAT scores and the three ways you can send your SAT score report.

What Is an SAT Score Report?

Your SAT score report shows you your total score out of 1600, as well as how this scores breaks down into several categories.

College admissions officers and scholarship committees will see your overall SAT score first. This score will be the largest, most prominent number on your report due to its importance.

Section scores and test scores break down your Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing performance and show how you rank nationally. You'll receive a green checkmark if you meet the College Board's college readiness benchmarks.

Finally, subscores and cross-test scores reveal your strengths and areas of improvement in certain subjects and for certain question types. These scores use a scale of 1-15 and 10-40, respectively.

When Should I Send SAT Scores to Colleges?

Before asking when you should send SAT scores, consider whether you should send them at all. Currently, there are over 1,800 test-optional schools. Research your prospective schools' admission statistics to determine whether your SAT scores could improve your application.

If you take the SAT your junior year of high school and plan to retake the test, avoid sending your SAT score report to colleges your junior year. Instead, use the time after the exam to review your scores, create an improvement plan, and try to do better on a retake.

Give yourself enough time to send SAT scores the fall of your senior year. In most cases, reporting SAT scores takes less than two weeks.

How to Send SAT Scores to Colleges: 3 Methods

The College Board lets you send SAT scores in three ways. You do so when registering for the SAT or after receiving your scores. If you qualify, you may use a fee waiver to send SAT scores for free.

1. Send Scores for Free When You Register for the SAT

You should consider sending scores for free when you register for the SAT if you prepared well for the test and don't plan to retake it or if you face a quickly approaching application deadline. The College Board lets you send your scores to up to four colleges for free.

Note that the College Board also gives you nine days after the test to select the schools you'd like to send your scores to. You can choose schools on your College Board account by typing in their name or four-digit score reporting code.

2. Send Scores for a Fee After You Receive Your Scores

You can also wait until you receive your scores to send your SAT score report to schools if you feel uncertain about your performance.

The College Board charges $12 for each SAT score report you send after the nine-day post-test window has passed. You can also pay $31 per report for a rush order if you need your scores to arrive as quickly as possible.

3. Send Scores for Free With a Fee Waiver

Talk with your high school counselor if you think you qualify for an SAT fee waiver. A waiver lets you take the SAT twice for free and puts no limit on the number of scores you may send for free.

You qualify for a fee waiver by meeting one of six eligibility criteria, such as participation in the National School Lunch Program or your family receiving public assistance.

How Long Do SAT Scores Take to Send?

The College Board sends your scores to schools within 10 days of you receiving them. Note that the amount of time it takes to send your scores depends on the method you choose. You should send SAT scores when you register for the SAT if you need colleges or scholarships to receive them as soon as possible.

Rush reports take 1-4 business days, making them ideal for college applicants on a tight deadline. You can order rush reports through your College Board account.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sending SAT Scores to Colleges

true When do I need to send SAT scores to colleges?

The College Board sends your SAT score report to schools within 10 days after your scores become available. Recipients may need an additional week to confirm they received your scores.

You can send scores after submitting a college application if your scores arrive before the application deadline. Colleges and scholarships may offer you an extension, depending on their policies. Be sure to check with them well before the deadline if you think you will need an extension.

Also, make sure to verify all information on your College Board account before sending SAT scores. You want to ensure schools and scholarships receive a complete and accurate document.

true Do you have to send all SAT scores to colleges?

You don't have to send your SAT score report to colleges. If you plan on possibly retaking the test at a later date, you may choose to wait to see your scores before deciding whether you'll send them to colleges.

If you do choose to send your SAT scores to schools, you must send the entire score report from a particular testing date. You may not send your Math section score from one test date and your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score from another test date.

false How do you send old SAT scores?

SAT scores never expire, meaning adults starting or returning to college typically do not need to retake the test. The College Board archives scores more than one year old. These archived scores may come from an older version of the SAT.

You can retrieve archived scores by submitting an order form and paying a retrieval fee of $31. You pay the same fee for each report as college applicants who took the SAT within the past 12 months.

Score reports more than five years old feature a note from the College Board explaining that scores may predict college readiness less accurately than those from the current iteration of the SAT. The College Board also adjusts SAT results from before 1995 to align with the modern scoring scale.

false How much does it cost to send SAT scores?

Sending an SAT score report to one school costs $12 as of June 2022. A rush report arriving in 1-4 days costs $31. You can send score reports to four schools for free if you send them when registering for the test or up to nine days after the test.

Fee waiver codes for sending SAT scores save eligible college applicants money. You qualify for a waiver if your family receives federal assistance.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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