Facts about the SAT & ACT

girl with curly hair taking test

What’s the difference between the SAT and ACT?

 SATACT
Why Take ItColleges use SAT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.Colleges use ACT scores for admissions and merit-based scholarships.
Test StructureReading Writing & Language Math Essay (Optional)English Math Reading Science Reasoning Essay (Optional)
Length3 hours (without essay) 3 hours, 50 minutes (with essay)2 hours, 55 minutes (without essay) 3 hours, 40 minutes (with essay)
Reading5 reading passages4 reading passages
ScienceNone1 science section testing your critical thinking skills (not your specific science knowledge)
MathCovers: Arithmetic Algebra I & II Geometry, Trigonometry and Data AnalysisCovers: Arithmetic Algebra I & II Geometry, Trigonometry, and Probability & Statistics
Calculator PolicySome math questions don’t allow you to use a calculator.You can use a calculator on all math questions.
EssaysOptional. The essay will test your comprehension of a source text.Optional. The essay will test how well you evaluate and analyze complex issues.
How It’s ScoredScored on a scale of 400–1600Scored on a scale of 1–36

10 Lowest Paying College Majors

One of the most stressful decisions when determining a college major is job security. However, due to the astronomical rise in tuition prices, financial security is more important than ever before. Luckily, Ensphere offers ways to pinpoint a major that fits your personality while also showing you the industry pay scale. We offer services such as Kolbe, Career Cruising, OpGig, and more. This will better determine which career path would be a good fit for you. 

In addition to our services, we always want to keep you up to date on external information such as “Best Pay Lists”. I am fond of the U.S. News lists that they produce each year. This one titled “10 College Majors With the Lowest Starting Salaries”, is a great source! They used the data from PayScale to determine this list.

Here are the 10 college majors with the lowest median salaries for alumni with three years of postgraduate work experience whose highest degree is a bachelor’s. Also included for each major is the college where alumni make the highest median salary in that field. During the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing more pay related lists.

10 College Majors With The Lowest Median Salaries

10. Design and applied arts

Median starting salary: $42,727

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Carnegie Mellon University (PA)

U.S. News rank and category: 25 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Carnegie Mellon University graduates in this field: $75,700


9. Liberal arts and general studies

Median starting salary: $42,617

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Biola University (CA)

U.S. News rank and category: 185 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Biola University graduates in this field: $65,100


8. Human development and related services

Median starting salary: $42,252

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Cornell University (NY)

U.S. News rank and category: 17 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Cornell University graduates in this field: $56,400


7. Criminal justice

Median starting salary: $42,025

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: George Washington University (DC)

U.S. News rank and category: 70, National Universities (tie)

Median salary for George Washington University graduates in this field: $58,400


6. Psychology

Median starting salary: $41,890

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: University of Scranton (PA)

U.S. News rank and category: 6, Regional Universities (North)

Median salary for University of Scranton graduates in this field: $66,100


5. Criminology

Median starting salary: $41,722

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: University of Maryland—College Park

U.S. News rank and category: 64 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for University of Maryland graduates in this field: $50,900


4. Health and physical education/fitness

Median starting salary: $41,608

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Rice University (TX)

U.S. News rank and category: 17 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Rice University graduates in this field: $56,700


3. Animal science

Median starting salary: $39,905

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Colorado State University

U.S. News rank and category: 166 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Colorado State graduates in this field: $55,400


2. Education

Median starting salary: $39,082

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: Boston University

U.S. News rank and category: 40 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for Boston University graduates in this field: $53,100


1. Social work

Median starting salary: $37,035

School with alumni earning the highest salary for this major: University of South Dakota

U.S. News rank and category: 263 (tie), National Universities

Median salary for University of South Dakota graduates in this field: $49,800

Is College Really Worth The Money?

As a millennial, I am constantly bombarded with news outlets exposing the cost of college now vs. 30 years ago. According to Yahoo Finance, tuition has jumped 3,009% in just 50 years! I was born in 1987 and the cost to attend a 4-year public college was $1,490. Now, just 32 years later, the cost is $10,230. The college system has turned into big business and COVID-19 has exposed it more than before. Is college still worth it? 

The short answer is yes

The average college graduate earns a salary that is over $30,000 more than an average worker with only a high school diploma, according to new research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. On average, the rate of return, or the net gain or loss on the college investment over a career, is 14 percent. So most families are still coming out firmly ahead on their investment in higher education, though rising college costs have slightly lowered the rate of return for today’s students. 

When determining whether to go to college, the ability to get a better job was cited by nearly 85% of freshmen enrolled in baccalaureate programs as “very important,” according to the University of California—Los Angeles‘ The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2017 survey, released this April. About 72% cited the ability to make more money. But in that same survey, about 76% of freshmen said gaining a general education and appreciation of ideas was a very important reason for enrollment.

To make sure that our students graduate within the 4 years (not 6 years) we offer an array of services that can guarantee that. We focus primarily on matching the students’ personalities with the job of their choice. If they’re unsure about a career path, we have a team that will work one-on-one to find the right fit. 

Best Cities For College Grads

Raleigh, NC

Last year, Thrillist, introduced their “Best Cities For Grads” and this years list is a bit different. The list included cities that you may expect to be there due to popularity and population growth. Thrillist shares Zumpers list of the best cities for grads to move to in 2020.

In order to determine the ideal spots, Zumper analyzed data from the top 100 US cities on seven key metrics: The unemployment rate (as of March 2020), the price of a one-bedroom rental, the population of folks ages 20 to 34, the population of 25 year-olds with a Bachelor’s degree, the median income of those 25 years and younger, the non-married population, and restaurants per 100k people.

Here are the most popular cities for graduates in 2020:

1. Salt Lake City, UT
2. Raleigh, NC
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Columbus, OH
5. Nashville, TN
6. Minneapolis, MN
7. Boston, MA
8. Lincoln, NE
9. Norfolk, VA
10. Madison, WI

First off, even though all of this data was from before lockdown, the cities are kind of ideal for the circumstances, anyway. You’ll note that none of these cities are massively condensed, nor do they rely as heavily on public transportation as, say, New York City, where most of my non-athletic friends have crashed their newly purchased COVID-19 bikes already.

First off, even though all of this data was from before lockdown, the cities are kind of ideal for the circumstances, anyway. You’ll note that none of these cities are massively condensed, nor do they rely as heavily on public transportation as, say, New York City, where most of my non-athletic friends have crashed their newly purchased COVID-19 bikes already.

(There is also a noticeable shift away from the coasts, and an even more noticeable absence of Austin, Texas, which is apparently not weird enough for the kids anymore.)

Now let’s break this down a little bit: The winner here, Salt Lake City, earned its top spot due to having a high concentration of young people and the fifth largest single population, so it seems like the place to go to take gorgeous hikes with new lovers. You’re also more likely to get a job here, in part due to its bustling tech scene.

Raleigh, at a surprising no. 2 in the ranking, earned its spot for being well-rounded — it was in the upper half for all categories. No. 3, San Fran, had the highest median income in the nation for young folks, plus a fairly low unemployment rate, though this has obviously changed. Other standouts are Columbus, for its restaurants, Boston, for its density of single people, and Lincoln, for affordable rent. You can find all the details here on the website’s blog post

Again, we’re really sorry about these graduate circumstances. If you can’t move this year, at least go and get as much free and cheap food as you possibly can from these sympathetic companies