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.