BRYC Improves ACT Scores, College Readiness for Under-Resourced Students

BRYC Improves ACT Scores, College Readiness for Under-Resourced Students

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition logo

While the ACT national average dropped to a 30-year low this year, there is a Louisiana nonprofit – dedicated to advancing equity to higher education access – bucking the trend.

The Baton Rouge Youth Coalition is a college-access-focused nonprofit that prepares high-achieving, under-resourced high school students to enter, persist in, graduate from college, and earn career-track jobs. Through free outside-of-school programs, BRYC assists 300-plus students from 44 high schools in the likes of academic and ACT tutoring, college application and financial aid assistance, and health and wellness programs for college and beyond. Since welcoming its first ninth-grade Fellow cohort in 2014, BRYC has had 577 College Fellows and Alumni attending 94 colleges.

The Baton Rouge Youth Coalition’s Class of 2022 averaged a 22 ACT composite score, ranking above the state average of 18.1 and the national average of 19.8. A total of 68 senior Fellows received 320 college acceptances and $5.56 million in financial aid. Ninety-six percent enrolled in two- or four-year schools. In addition, on the latest October test, 15 Fellows (BRYC students) from the Class of 2023 increased their ACT scores as high as four points.

Unpaid testimonial. Individual results may vary, and testimonials are not claimed to represent typical results. ACT score average and gain data courtesy of MasteryPrep client district and based on year over year ACT test data for the same cohort. All testimonials are real participants, and may not reflect the typical user’s experience, and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition Class of 2022 At-A-Glance:


Senior Fellows


Average ACT Score


Percentage of Students Enrolled


Total Aid Awarded

"There are thousands of young people from a lower-income standing who face barriers to attaining the resources to graduate high school, score well on standardized tests, earn financial aid, and develop the skills needed for the workforce,” said Aareena Dhillon, BRYC Director of Upperclassmen Learning. "We have built a community of dedicated students and caring adults under one collaborative support system functioning to convert the high school educational journey into personal and professional opportunities.”

Fellows attend BRYC (in-person or virtually) one assigned day per week after school for three hours of grade-specific programming – 9th and 10th grade – Underclassmen Transition; 11th grade – ACT Preparation; 12th grade – College Access; and BRYC’s Persistence team supports Fellows in college & beyond. BRYC pays for two ACT tests a year for their juniors. Dhillon said Fellows must maintain a 3.5 GPA and 80 percent attendance in BRYC programming. BRYC also offers college tours, campus retreats, college information sessions, and summer enrichment programs to its Fellows.

BRYC College Signing Day 2022

“A different, dynamic, and more efficient way of conquering this test”

BRYC Students

BRYC has had a longstanding partnership implementing MasteryPrep ACT products into its tutoring curriculum and academic lesson planning. MasteryPrep works to “level the standardized assessment playing field” by partnering with districts, schools, and college readiness programs nationwide to have more access to mastery-based college readiness services and resources.

“The MasteryPrep products have enhanced our ability to prepare our Fellows on the ACT and improved so many of their scores,” said Dhillon. “We do consistent practice testing to monitor their scores, shape lesson plans to work on their weaknesses, and provide them access to follow-up study hall videos so that their comfortability levels are high for the real test.”  

MasteryPrep’s TruScore Testing & Analysis for the ACT features official ACT practice tests to enhance the practice testing experience. After students take their practice tests, MasteryPrep provides detailed reports that give teachers insights into student performance, and data-driven recommendations to boost outcomes. “Study Hall” videos cover the most important tested content on the ACT, bolstering content mastery, test-taking skills, and assisting students with working on their subject areas on which they need the most help.

"These are all strategies and tricks I wish I had when I took the ACT,” said Dhillon. “From plugging in answers in Math, to realizing the correct situations for comma use in English, to skimming and scanning techniques in Reading and Science – they all teach our Fellows just a different, dynamic, and more efficient way of conquering this test.”

BRYC Executive Director Lucas Spielfogel authored MasteryPrep’s College Playbook, which helps set up a student’s high school years for college success. It includes valuable lessons and advice on what colleges really want to see in applications, everything students need to know about standardized tests, how to compare exact costs among colleges, how to understand financial aid awards, tips on writing personal statements, and how time management, setting goals, and creating healthy habits can make the most out of high school careers.

“Every BRYC Senior Fellow receives a copy of the book, and we work with them throughout their senior year on useful tips on how to apply to college and receive maximum financial aid; our goal is for them to have student loans less than $5,500 for college,” Dhillon said. “Even after college, we offer our alumni a support network for anything they may need as they make that college transition and stay on track at their respective schools.”

BRYC students 2

About MasteryPrep:

MasteryPrep provides mastery-based college readiness services and resources for the SAT®, ACT®, TSIA2, EOC, and WorkKeys®. MasteryPrep is the nationally preferred SAT and ACT prep provider of the Council for Opportunity in Education and licensed by ACT to include official ACT test questions in its programs. MasteryPrep partners with schools and districts to help level the standardized assessment playing field. MasteryPrep has ranked among the Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Companies” for six years and is a featured “Entrepreneur 360” company.


MasteryPrep is here to bridge the gap in an e-learning environment by providing your students with much needed college readiness preparation.

Check out our distance learning solutions:

Or click here to download our newly updated catalog.