About This Step
Students who build a college list with three or more colleges on BigFuture will earn monthly entries for $500 and $40,000 scholarship drawings. The earlier you build your list, the more chances you'll have at winning.
It’s never too early to begin looking for the college that's best for you. There are thousands of colleges in the United States. BigFuture can help you find the one for you.
How to Qualify
- Login to your College Board account.
- Click Act Now above.
- Search for colleges on BigFuture.
- Add 3 or more schools to your list.
Dates and Deadlines
Scholarships for $500 and $40,000 are awarded monthly until February of your senior year. Completing any step enters you in the drawings on the first day of every month. Drawings occur on the first day of every month.
Class of 2026 Deadline to Complete this step: Saturday, February 28, 2026
Increase Your Chances
Whenever students whose families earn less than $60,000 a year complete the FAFSA, they’ll earn an extra entry in monthly drawings and have double the chances at a scholarship. Half of all awards are reserved for students who meet the income criteria.
Tips for Building Your College List
What's a college list?
Your college list is the start of your journey to college. Consider adding schools that match your interests for the future. Consider adding schools close to home and schools that are in different cities or states.
How can I build a strong college list?
On BigFuture, you can filter schools by location, major, type, and campus life. You can also search for schools based on affordability. Save schools that match your interests, goals, and what’s important to you.
Who's eligible for scholarships from BigFuture?
Students in the class of 2024, 2025, and 2026 are now eligible for BigFuture Scholarships. They must: have a College Board account and attend public or private high school or are enrolled in a home school in the United States, Puerto Rico, or any other U.S. territories, and U.S. citizens and residents attending Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools. When students complete one or more qualifying steps on BigFuture, they'll be automatically entered into monthly drawings for $500 or $40,000 until February of their senior year. Students can opt out of scholarship drawings here.
What are the deadlines to complete each step to qualify for BigFuture Scholarships?
Class of 2024
- Start Your College List: Friday, June 30, 2023
- Strengthen Your College List: Tuesday, October 31, 2023
- Start Your Career List: Thursday, February 29, 2024
- Start Your Scholarship List: Thursday, February 29, 2024
- Apply to Colleges: Thursday, February 29, 2024
- Complete the FAFSA: Thursday, February 29, 2024
Class of 2025
- Start Your College List: Sunday, June 30, 2024
- Strengthen Your College List: Thursday, October 31, 2024
- Start Your Career List: Friday, February 28, 2025
- Start Your Scholarship List: Friday, February 28, 2025
- Apply to Colleges: Friday, February 28, 2025
- Complete the FAFSA: Friday, February 28, 2025
Class of 2026
- Start Your College List: Monday, June 30, 2025
- Strengthen Your College List: Friday, October 31, 2025
- Start Your Career List: Saturday, February 28, 2026
- Start Your Scholarship List: Saturday, February 28, 2026
- Apply to Colleges: Saturday, February 28, 2026
- Complete the FAFSA: Saturday, February 28, 2026
Are there family income requirements to earn scholarships?
No. These scholarships are open to students regardless of their family income. At least half of all the scholarships will be designated for students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year.
A student may be automatically identified as eligible to increase their chances if they received a fee waiver from College Board for one of our assessments or if they attend a high school where 75% or more of the student body qualifies for free- or reduced-priced lunch. If students haven't been automatically identified as qualifying for extra scholarship entries but feel they qualify because their family earns less than $60,000 per year or they earned fee waivers, they'll be able to indicate they meet these criteria by updating their College Board account. Students who select this option may be asked to verify family income by using a secure document system if they earn a scholarship in a monthly drawing.
Do students have to take a PSAT-related test or SAT to participate in BigFuture Scholarships?
No. The program is open to all students, even those who don't take a College Board assessment. None of the six steps on BigFuture require sitting for an SAT assessment.
Do students have to participate online via the BigFuture website?
Can I dispute my activity progress on BigFuture? What do I do if I don’t think my activity on BigFuture is accurate?
It may take up to 24 hours for your activity to be updated in the progress tracker. After that time, if you still feel that your information isn't up to date, please contact Customer Service at 844-298-3554.
How will I know when I've earned an entry?
After you confirm on BigFuture that you applied to two or more colleges, you’ll be automatically entered in drawings unless you opt out of participation. You’ll see an update on your dashboard on BigFuture when you earn entries for $500 and $40,000. You’ll also get an email to confirm your drawing entries.