Equity at ACT

Helping people achieve education and workplace success.

ACT exists to fight for fairness in education and create a world where everyone can discover and fulfill their potential.

ACT’s commitment to equity, which comes to life every day through our mission and the work of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, is finding new focus through an intentional commitment to Equity by Design. This emphasis will connect ACT’s more than 60 years of success as a trusted assessment organization with an accelerated commitment to advance and amplify equity, diversity, inclusion, and justice in our efforts. This strategic focus is essential for ACT’s next 60 years of success – and the success of the students we serve.

Given the significant demographic shifts in the U.S., as well as recent local and global disruptions in learning, ACT is working alongside our stakeholders to ensure that gaps in access and opportunity continue to be identified and addressed. The effects of the digital divide, emergence of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, as well as ongoing systemic barriers to success for so many, require that education and work beyond high school are meaningfully transformed in this watershed moment. 

ACT's Center for Equity in Learning

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning exists to:

  • Promote equity infused research solutions.
  • Invest in high-impact equity organizations and leaders.
  • Communicate actionable information about the realities, challenges, and opportunities facing diverse learners.

American College Application Campaign

The American College Application Campaign (ACAC), a national initiative of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning, is designed to increase the number of first-generation college students and students from low-income families who pursue a postsecondary degree. The purpose is to assist high school seniors as they navigate the college application and admissions process and ensure each participating student submits at least one admissions application.

Each year, ACAC works with designated coordinators in every state and the District of Columbia to host college application events and reach students in their schools and communities, encouraging and helping them to apply to college. 

Nationally, 4.2 million students have been served by ACAC and 7.3 million applications have been submitted since the Campaign began in 2005.

"The college application process is challenging to navigate, especially for first-generation college-goers and students from low-income families. The efforts from our American College Application Campaign collaborators and educators are making a substantial difference, helping high schoolers in communities across the country. Their efforts help inspire students to discover and fulfil their full potential." 
– Janet Godwin

ACT Distributes an Average of $32 Million in Fee Waivers Each Year

Across the country, more than one in five registrations for the national ACT test (taken by students on a Saturday or Sunday) are completed using a fee waiver. ACT's fee waiver program is a key part of ACT’s mission to help everyone find success in education and the workforce. 

ACT's Fee Waiver program provides:

  • 100% coverage of ACT test fees
  • Free access to learning resources
  • Free additional score reports
  • Eligibility to have college application fees waived

"Thank you ACT for helping me achieve my success by waiving my cost for the test. Our family income is low, and because of the waiver I have a chance to go to college." 

- Quimir FerrellFirst-Generation Student