ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning and Boys & Girls Clubs of America Team Up to Help More Students Go to College

For Immediate Release

December 11, 2019

IOWA CITY, Iowa ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning and Boys & Girls Clubs of America are proud to announce a partnership that aims to help more students from underserved populations go to college by directly providing fee waivers for the ACT® test to eligible students from low-income families. The ACT measures what students have learned in school to determine their academic readiness for college.

This initiative is needed to help more students have a fair chance to achieve success in education and the workplace. ACT provides fee waivers to students from low-income families to take the ACT for free up to two times, but many eligible students either don’t apply or don’t use their fee waivers. Specifically, as part of this initiative, Boys & Girls Clubs in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Tennessee and Texas will seek to reach 2,000 underserved students with two fee waivers, which include free score reports and free online test prep. Additionally, ACT will provide webinar support to the Clubs in reaching students with eligible for the waivers. “This partnership further supports our efforts to close gaps in equity, opportunity, and achievement for underserved populations,” said Jim Larimore, chief officer for ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning. “We’re committed to removing cost barriers and other obstacles that prevent students from understanding their current readiness for college-level work and what they can do to be better prepared as they make the transition to postsecondary opportunities. We’re delighted that Boys & Girls Clubs of America—whose members are in communities making a difference every day—is our partner in this mission of helping people achieve education success.”

Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe, affordable place for kids and teens during critical out-of- school time. They offer life-changing programs and services to youth all across America and on U.S. military installations worldwide. There are 187 Clubs on Native lands, making Boys & Girls Clubs the largest youth development provider to Native communities. Twenty-six percent of Club members are African American and 23% are Hispanic. The majority of Club members (61%) qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches. By partnering with the Clubs to distribute fee waivers, ACT is ensuring that high-needs populations are getting support where they already are and empowering them for success.

“ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning is an important source for research that focuses on closing gaps in equity, and we’re excited this partnership will further all of our efforts to improve access to learning and achievement,” said Elizabeth Fowlkes, senior vice president of youth development with Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “At Boys & Girls Clubs we believe that no matter the circumstances that surround youth, they should have the same access to opportunities as their peers and we are committed to ensuring young people have the support they need to secure post-secondary success.”

To receive a fee waiver, a student must be currently enrolled in high school in the 11th or 12th grade in the US, US territories, or Puerto Rico and meet one or more of the indicators of economic need. An ACT Fee Waiver covers the registration and late fees for either the ACT (no writing) or the ACT with writing. Students who register for the ACT test with fee waivers automatically receive free access to ACT’s paid test preparation tools and can send score reports for free to up to 20 colleges.

About ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning focuses on closing gaps in equity, opportunity and achievement for underserved populations and working learners. Through purposeful investments, employee engagement, and thoughtful advocacy efforts, the Center supports innovative partnerships, actionable research, initiatives, campaigns, and programs to further ACT’s mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,600 Clubs serve over 4.7 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at on Facebook and Twitter.