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What it is and how it works

The College Board's Student Search Service® helps introduce students to higher education and opportunities by offering them the ability to provide personal and preferential information to colleges and scholarship programs that are looking for students like them — all at no cost to the student.

When students take a College Board exam, they can choose to participate by actively opting in to Student Search during the registration process. The vast majority of exam-takers opt in to Student Search to receive information about admission, financial aid and other postsecondary opportunities without being solicited by commercial entities.

Students consistently report that while they enjoy receiving information about familiar colleges and universities, they especially enjoy hearing from colleges and universities with which they were previously unfamiliar. This is particularly the case for students currently underrepresented in higher education and students from first-generation college families.

College Board exams with Student Search opt-in options:

  • SAT®
  • AP® (Advanced Placement)
  • SAT Subject Tests™
  • PSSS (Preliminary SAT Scoring Service)

More than 1,100 colleges, universities and scholarship programs use Student Search every year to find the right students for their programs, scholarships and special activities. Through Student Search, they can address diversity, be more inclusive in their recruiting efforts and reach out to students who might not otherwise be aware of postsecondary opportunities.

The College Board maintains strict eligibility requirements for colleges, universities and scholarship organizations that want to use Student Search for recruiting students. Only accredited colleges and universities, and only nonprofit scholarship and educational opportunity organizations, may access student information. The College Board also monitors communication between Student Search users and students in order to ensure compliance with Student Search’s usage policies.

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No commercial entities or test prep organizations are allowed to access student information through the College Board or Student Search.

Encourage your students to sign up for Student Search so they can take advantage of this convenient, secure and easy way to learn more about their college opportunities.

Student Search in a Nutshell

  • Student Search is free to students.
  • Students' participation is voluntary and they must actively opt in during exam registration.
  • Only accredited colleges, universities, nonprofit scholarship agencies and nonprofit educational opportunity organizations may participate in the Student Search program.
  • Scores, course grades, telephone numbers, and social security numbers are not released.
  • Absolutely no commercial advertising of any sort is permitted in information sent to students by participating institutions.
  • More than 1,100 four-year colleges, universities and scholarship organizations use Student Search to reach out to students every year.
  • Students may remove their name, email address, or both from the service at any time by calling (866) 499-5357 or by emailing the College Board's Student Search Service ([email protected]).

Note About Test Prep Product Solicitations

The College Board makes every effort to protect a student's privacy. When a student takes a College Board exam, such as the PSAT/NMSQT, the SAT® or an Advanced Placement (AP®) Exam, he or she has a choice to "opt in" to Student Search Service (Student Search). If the student says yes, this enables the College Board to provide that student's basic information to eligible colleges and universities, scholarship programs and certain higher education enrichment opportunities.

While the College Board recommends that students take advantage of our free and low-cost practice tools in order to help them do their best on test day, it is our strict policy to NOT sell student information to test-preparation companies, nor are such companies affiliated with the College Board.

We recommend the following precautions if you receive unsolicited calls from persons identifying themselves as belonging to a test-preparation company:

  • Never provide credit card information.
  • Don't commit to a purchase regardless of the caller's high-pressure tactics.
  • Get the company's contact information and the name of the caller; ask for a callback number.
  • Contact your local consumer affairs office, your local Better Business Bureau and/or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if the company continues to make unsolicited phone calls.

To learn more about our Student Search Service policy, go to the College Board Search application..