What would typically cost Hawaiian students around $300 will now be free thanks to a partnership between the national Military Impacted Schools Association (MISA) and the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE).
According to a press release from the DOE, students and parents throughout Hawaii will now be able to utilize SOAR, or Student Online Achievement Resources, a web-based program that helps families manage their children’s education, offers testing and tutorials in reading in math for grades 3-12, and connects students preparing for the SAT and ACT to The Princeton Review’s online college test preparation courses.
“This exciting, new college test prep program covers all of the same great content as the traditional classroom course, but it is delivered through a combination of interactive multimedia lessons and exercises,” said State Rep. K. Mark Takai (D-Aiea, Pearl City) in the release “If a student were to pay for this now free program, it would cost around $300.” He said the courses are available to all students in Hawaii, whether they go to private or public schools or are home-schooled
Colleges and universities use SAT and ACT scores as an indicator of student’s academic success. The release pointed out that because of the high cost of many test preparation materials, students are often not prepared due to financial constraints.
“SOAR is an invaluable resource for all Hawaii students,” said Ronn Nozoe, deputy superintendent of education, in the release. “This program will play a critical support role in preparing our youth for the rigors of college.
“During these tough economic times, this free 24/7 online college test preparatory course is a plus for families that are financially challenged and beneficial for self-starters and students with hectic schedules,” Nozoe added.
“SOAR gives Hawaii students who may not have the means to pay for expensive preparation courses the opportunity to get ready for tests vital to their academic success,” said John Deegan, MISA executive director in the release.