Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

ACT wins grant to examine relationship between test scores and college success

ACT has been selected as a winner of a $30,000 2021 Amazon Web Services (AWS) Imagine Grant, which will support a project to examine the relationship between ACT test scores and college success.

ACT says the funding will help simplify its process of gathering and analyzing student outcomes data. The grant will increase ACT’s understanding of student success by making it easier to observe connections between ACT test scores and positive college outcomes.

Because students, families, educators, and colleges use the test for different purposes, a critical piece of demonstrating the test’s validity is to tie performance to college success, such as earning good grades, returning for the second year, and graduating in a timely manner, wrote ACT in a blog post announcing the grant.

However, conducting this type of research is a challenging, labor-intensive, manual process. The grant funding will help ACT overcome this challenge by using a cloud-based solution to automatically connect college outcomes data from states and individual colleges and universities to ACT test records on a large scale, with limited manual analysis. This will allow researchers to examine the relationship between ACT test scores – alone and in conjunction with high school grade point average – and college outcomes.

“ACT is committed to the ongoing evaluation and documentation of the validity and fairness of test scores,” said Dianne Henderson, vice president of research at ACT. “We’re excited to have this opportunity to collaborate with AWS to dig deeper into how test scores relate to positive college outcomes.”

The project will also increase evidence of how scores can provide important information to test-takers as well as higher education institutions.

Click here to see all the winners of the 2022 AWS Imagine Grant.

ACT wins grant to examine relationship between test scores and college success | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
This Pop-up Is Included in the Theme
Best Choice for Creatives
Purchase Now