Student Search Service Frequently Asked Questions

Student Search Service

Answers to the questions students and parents most commonly ask about Student Search Service™. Click each question below to see the corresponding answer.


What is Student Search Service?

Student Search Service is a free, voluntary College Board service that helps college and scholarship programs find and get in touch with students that might be a good match. Students can opt in or out of this service at any time. Students who are contacted by colleges through Student Search receive, on average, 29% more offers of college admission. To participate in Student Search, students may update their preference on their College Board account or may opt-in when they register for the SAT or take an AP Exam.

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When will I hear from colleges?

After joining Student Search Service, it may take a few weeks for colleges and scholarship programs to start reaching out to you. Remember, keeping your information up to date is the best way to receive relevant communications from these organizations.

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Can I access Student Search Service at no cost?

Yes. It’s free to join and to hear from colleges. Student Search Service is always free for students, colleges pay to use the service.

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Can colleges access Student Search Service at no cost?

No. Colleges pay to use Student Search Service.

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If I change my mind, how do I opt out?

You can opt out at any time using this link. Once you opt out, we'll immediately remove you from Student Search Service. Colleges that have already contacted you may continue to send you communications. If you’re continuing to hear from a program you’re not interested in, we recommend you opt out of that organization’s communications directly. You can typically opt out or unsubscribe from future mailings at the bottom of the college’s email or on their website.

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Is Student Search Service new?

Student Search Service is nearly 50 years old! We've refreshed our website, but students have been using Student Search Service in their college journeys since 1972.

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If I'm not 13 yet, can I participate in Student Search Service?

No. Student Search Service is only available to students over the age of 12.

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How do colleges use my information?

Colleges and other eligible organizations may use your information to send you emails and mailings about their educational, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities. They're not allowed to share your information with others, except with their contractors such as direct mail service providers.

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What data will be shared?

We share information that you provide to College Board, such as the information you share when you register for and take College Board assessments and when you create a college list on College Board’s college planning website. Participating organizations can also run searches using score ranges on the AP, PSAT 10, PSAT/NMSQT, and SAT exams. College Board doesn't share disability or health information, social security numbers, self-reported financial information, or phone numbers. If you opt in to Student Search Service, we may share information that you provided prior to and after opting in Student Search Service. We won't share any information until you opt in, and you can opt out at any time.

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With whom will my data be shared?

Only accredited colleges, universities, nonprofit scholarship programs, and nonprofit educational organizations are eligible to participate in Student Search. Participating institutions aren't allowed to share your information with others, except with their contractors such as direct mail service providers.

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