Questions about stupid SAT score report mistake

Just two random questions about SATs and whether a stupid decision will affect my chances of getting into some of my target schools I am applying to.

For some background, I took two SATs offered by my school recently. The first was offered in September and the second in October. During the September SAT, I used the 4 free SAT score reports. I had no idea this existed since this is was my first SAT I ever took after previously being cancelled multiple times before. When taking the test, the proctor was reading the instructions and during these instructions, he stated that there is an option to send 4 SAT score reports for free without any fee as long as you put down the schools code on your test. When I heard it was free, I immediately put down some of the schools I am applying to without even thinking about the consequences at all such as BU, NEU, WPI and UMass Amherst (all target scores). I am part of a low-income family so it would seem obvious to use this for me because I would hate to pay roughly $45 just to send scores to 4 of these schools.

However, I just got my scores back from my September SAT and I really under-performed. I got a 1160 and I now realize that these schools all have my terrible score (it is under the recommended SAT score for all these schools). I honestly was very disappointed in myself and I’m unsure whether or not this will hurt my chances at some of these schools.

Although I got a bad score on my first test, I felt a lot better about the October SAT because I studied harder and took a couple practice tests before and got in the 1400 range. I also didn’t use the 4 free score report this time just in case I somehow under-performed once again. Currently, I’m just waiting for my score to come back in two weeks from now.

To sum up my questions, will the colleges only look at my October score which is going to be better than my terrible September score or will they look at both scores when making their decision? Also, if they look at both scores, will this hurt my application to some of these schools even if they see my much improved score?

Most colleges will only consider your highest score, even if others are submitted.

There are a handful of colleges that require you to submit all scores, but none of the colleges on your list apply.

You’ll be fine.

Agree - schools nearly universally take an optimistic view of multiple test scores and will consider either your best individual test date or the combination of your best individual sections across test dates (superscoring).