Questions For You all (Future Applicant)

Answers to various questions regarding the SMART Scholarship application process. Includes many tips and statistics.

Questions For You all (Future Applicant)

Postby ryantetreault » Sat Nov 09, 2019 3:30 am


I am a current senior at a public high school in Florida. I currently hold a 4.58 GPA weighted, 3.96 unweighted, 1380 SAT and 28 ACT. I currently work at a Chick-Fil-A and am in multiple honor societies at my school. After graduation, I plan on attending Embry-Riddle for a degree in Aerospace Engineering BS. To all of you, should I retake the ACT and/or SAT to improve my chances, and do they look at unweighted or weighted GPA? I am also wondering what are the chances of me progressing throughout the selection process. I understand that I would have a service commitment, but I feel that a job guaranteed after college would bolster my experience and give my self a head start in the workforce. Any suggestions that you have for me over the next year to improve my chances?
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Re: Questions For You all (Future Applicant)

Postby codeToad » Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:59 pm

Your SAT is slightly higher than the average for SMART awardees (1337), though your ACT is a bit lower than the average (~29.5). If you have a good plan for how you can increase your scores, I would retake them to further improve your chances with SMART and colleges. They absolutely look at your past academic performance (including GPA), but you seem to be in a very good spot. I recall providing my unweighted GPA. In general, your chances look decent. Your major seems to be pretty average as far as acceptance rates (9% of applicants, 8% of awardees). All in all, that means that the acceptance rate for aerospace engineering is about 14.2%, so there will still be some strong competition.

As far as the selection process goes, it has a couple of stages. After screening students for eligibility, the applications are split up by major and the top 50% of each major's applications enter the semifinalist stage (you will be told if you become a semifinalist). I would expect that you can make it to that point. After this, the semifinalist applications are sent out to sponsoring facilities, and those that have spots for aerospace engineers will receive your application. From there it is up to them to decide who gets the spot and thus the award. Most facilities will interview you for the position. When completing your application, realize that you are trying to convince these facilities that you are a good fit.

My other piece of advice is that you have some good extracurriculars. From both a SMART and a college application standpoint, extracurriculars are essential. You may have just forgotten to mention them, but they are great for demonstrating teamwork and the ability to apply your academic expertise.

Best of luck with your application!
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