Typical ACT scores for specific top schools

November 12, 2006 at 9:40 am 45 comments

Posted by Dee

Thanks to a comment by Rocketsr71 on the post titled, “Typical SAT scores for specific top schools,” it is clear that some AdmitSpit readers are wondering about colleges’ ACT expectations. I couldn’t find a comprehensive list anywhere on the Internet that compiles the ACT expectations at each of the top schools, so I created one! The name of each school, along with any ACT score statistics or information, is provided. This data was taken from each college’s admissions Web site.

Brown: No ACT information. =(

CIT: For students admitted for the Class of 2010, the middle 50% of ACT scores was 33-35.

Columbia University: I couldn’t find any ACT information for either the College or Engineering.

Cornell: No information on ACT scores.

Dartmouth: For the Class of 2009, the middle 50% of ACT scores for students who matriculated was 29-34.

Duke: For the Class of 2010, the middle 50% of accepted students had ACT scores of 30-34. For Engineering students in the Class of 2010, the middle 50% of accepted students scored 32-34 on the ACT.

Georgetown: For students admitted in 2005, the middle 50% of accepted students scored 30-33 on the ACT.

Harvard: They didn’t list any statistical info on ACT scores.

Johns Hopkins University: For students for Fall of 2006, the middle 50% of admitted students had ACT scores of 30-34.

MIT: For the Class of 2010, the middle 50% of admitted students scored 30-34 for ACT Composite. More specifically, 19% of those admitted had between 30-36, 10% had 26-29, 6% had 21-25, and no admitted students had below a score of 21 on the ACT.

Northwestern: Hmm… couldn’t find any information on the Northwestern Web site. If someone finds these stats, send a comment!

NYU: No ACT score information.

Princeton: Hmm… couldn’t find any information on the Princeton Web site. If someone finds these stats, send a comment!

Rice University: For the Class of 2009, the middle 50% of the entering class scored between 30 and 34 on the ACT.

Stanford: For students who enrolled for the class entering in fall of 2005, the middle 50% scored 29-33 for ACT Composite, 29-34 for ACT Math, and again 29-34 for ACT English. More specifically, for the ACT Composite scores, 71% scored between 30-36, 27% scored 24-29, and 3% scored 18-23. For ACT Math, 69% scored 30-36, 28% scored 24-29, and 3% scored 18-23. For ACT English, 68% scored 30-36, 29% scored 24-29, and 3% scored 18-23.

UC Berkeley: For the Class of 2010, the average ACT score was 28 for admitted students.

UCLA: For the admitted students in the Class of 2010, the average ACT score was 28.

University of Chicago: For enrolled students in the Class of 2010, the distribution begins with 64% between 30-36 on the ACT. 26% scored 26-29, 10% scored 21-25, 1% scored 16-20, and no students fell below 16. The middle 50% of students scored 29-33 on the ACT.

University of Pennsylvania: For students accepted for the Class of 2010, the middle 50% of admitted students scored between 31 and 34 on the ACT.

Yale: Somewhat vague. The median ACT Composite score is in the “low 30s.”


Entry filed under: Accepted, Acronym, ACT, Admissions, AdmitSpit, Answer, Brown, Caltech, CIT, College trends, Colleges/Universities, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Northwestern, NYU, Princeton, Research, Rice, SAT, Stanford, Statistics, Testing, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of California, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, UPenn, Website, Yale.

A “duh” tip #2 Recommended, but not required?

45 Comments Add your own

  • 1. anonymous  |  November 14, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    Stanford middle 50% ACT scores: 29-33

  • 2. Dee  |  November 15, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks, anonymous!
    … someone left two comments regarding Stanford’s ACT statistics and Princeton’s SAT statistics. It’s fantastic to get such helpful comments from our readers; I appreciate it!

  • 3. Elisabeth  |  November 27, 2006 at 11:24 pm

    thanks for the info! helped a lot!

  • 4. Raymond  |  November 28, 2006 at 6:27 am

    Northwestern’s middle 50% of ACT scores: 29-33 (’05-’06)

  • 5. anonymous  |  December 4, 2006 at 3:02 am

    Does anyone know which of the top schools will accept the February ACT test date (I’m thinking of retaking the ACT)?

  • 6. Edie  |  January 8, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Northwestern requires (or required last year) at least a 32 on the ACT to even apply.

    • 7. Laura  |  September 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      When I visited Northwestern the representative of the College of Arts and Sciences said that there was no minimum test score — no “cutoff”.

  • 8. dan  |  January 17, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    We are looking for an excellent school to send our kids. Can anyone recommend a public school district (non-magnet) that scores close to 30 on the ACTs? For Example, Gunn in Palo Alto seems to average 29 on the ACT. Any information would be helpful. Thanks!

  • 9. Mary  |  January 27, 2007 at 9:57 pm

    The most current scores I could find for Northwestern are Verbal 650-740 Math 670-760

  • 10. Kacie  |  February 12, 2007 at 3:25 am


    They don’t exist. If you’re depending on the high school’s average ACT to raise your kid’s scores up, you’re outta luck.

    Your kids will do the best they can do. I’m at an average public high school, and I got a 35 on the ACT. My parents’ friends’ kid is at a $20,000/year private school. He got a 32.

    And if you’re really scheming to find a public school that meet those criteria, you need to seriously re-evaluate your priorities.

  • 11. Dee  |  February 12, 2007 at 8:13 am

    I don’t know Kacie… I think you’re being a little too hard on Dan. I think it’s good that he’s trying to find a good school for his kids, but it’s true that he’ll be hard pressed to find any stats of this kind. Definitely at most good schools if his kids put in the effort to get a good education and meet their potential academically, they will do well on the ACT.

  • 12. Ralph  |  February 14, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    I have a fact sheet from Yale that says the Class of 2010 had a middle 50% of 29-34 on the ACT

  • 13. Colleen  |  March 6, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    I got a 21. I’m in 7th grade. If I were to go to college right now, what good schools in or around Massachusetts could I get into with a GPA of 3.7 and a 21 on the ACT? Please email me back!!!

  • 14. Beatrice  |  March 8, 2007 at 5:07 am

    Wow, I got a 29.
    I’m a failure.

    • 15. Reine Lauren  |  October 31, 2010 at 4:26 pm

      no actually, thats pretty good. and you can always retake it!! a lot of top schools, even ivies, have accepted a 29 if your grades, extracurriculars, essays, and recommendations are excellent. so don’t get discouraged 🙂

  • 16. Wendy  |  March 13, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    According to the College Board, Princeton’s middle 50% range of ACT scores is 30-34.

  • 17. JANAK  |  March 19, 2007 at 7:18 pm


  • 18. Nathan  |  April 25, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    What should one at a college prep school with a 3.93 GPA get on the ACT before having a decent shot on acceptance at Harvard?

  • 19. Sarah  |  May 8, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Nathan, you will need a lot more than a good ACT score to get into Harvard. You have to stand out in a specific field as well as being top of your class, and very involved. Best of luck to you!

  • 20. dAEmon  |  May 11, 2007 at 12:23 am

    I wish some statistics were available somewhere on a per-score basis; i.e. XX% of students with a 36 were accepted/ XX% of students with a 35…

  • 21. Terri A Skinner  |  July 2, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    is a 11 a passing grade for act test for tyler junior college.

  • 22. Brittany  |  July 2, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Nathan, my situation is similar to yours. I am a upcoming junior at a college prep high school. In April I took the ACT for the first time in HS, and I received a 27. I am OBSESSED with Harvard; it is my dream school. So, after all of my rambling and telling about myself, I say this: your best shot at acceptance into Harvard would be a 36 or close to it… and I mean CLOSE ! a majority of applicants apply to Harvard w/ a weighted GPA of 4.0 or above- and I’ve seen up to a 4.9- so since your GPA is below a “perfect” 4.0, I would compensate by doing extremely well on the ACT. Also, make sure you are well-rounded: be active in sports, clubs, academic associations, etc. i plan to take the ACT again in the fall and have been studying all summer. I expect a score of 34 or so.
    good luck!

  • 23. Miss Katerina  |  August 9, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    I was wondering the average acceptance rate for Cornell University. Also, the typical SAT scores needed to be accepted. Anyone who’s gone or is going to Cornell, what’s it like?

  • 24. Yumster  |  August 30, 2007 at 5:02 am

    Brown takes around a 27-33.

  • 25. Gianna  |  October 24, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    I really want to get into Brown, Stanford…. anyone know my chances with a act 29, great ecs, top 10 in hs class ?

    • 26. Reine Lauren  |  October 31, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      do a lot of soul-searching and editing to provide a great meaningful essay! and find well-qualified teachers to do your recommendations. . .and the rest is still unpredicatable

      • 27. Reine Lauren  |  October 31, 2010 at 4:30 pm

        oops. . .i meant unpredictable 🙂

  • 28. Becca  |  November 4, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    I need to know what the standard ACT and SAT scores are to be accepted into UCLA. please help! 🙂

  • 29. majimena  |  November 25, 2007 at 12:39 am

    These posts are pointless i think.
    the only people who read them are worrying college-hopefulls!
    sure, we can inform eachother of info we know- but we probably know the exact same things. its not like we’re admissions staff with some inside scoop.
    atleast they work for getting some anxiety out. thats why im here in the first place-but as for getting any questions reliably answered… well, i’ve given up on that long ago..

  • 30. Teja  |  December 21, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    Lets see, I made a 30 on the ACT as a seventh-grader. This year, in 9th grade, i made a 31/32 on the PLAN, which is a 10th grade test. So thats basically saying I should have at least a 35 as a junior, hopefully a 36. Im shooting for a perfect PSAT score also. Im pretty much in every xtracurricular academic club in my skool and i play varsity tennis. Aand for Harvard, I know i need to have one exceptional thing that really makes me stand out. Too bad I don’t know what that thing is yet.

    • 31. ali  |  September 28, 2010 at 2:52 am

      well…you need to know how to spell SKOOL…lol to get into Harvard

    • 32. Beth  |  December 28, 2010 at 2:21 am

      I would recommend focusing on correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar usage. These COULD lead to better writing — which would definitely make you stand out in this crowd!

    • 33. Chris  |  January 4, 2011 at 4:31 am

      It sure isn’t your spelling or proof reading.

  • 34. Lori  |  January 8, 2008 at 2:43 am

    To Dan: I too spent a lot of time looking at avg ACT scores of high schools, thinking that would help my kids. Finally a teacher told me, Don’t worry about the AVERAGE score at the school you pick. What you are looking for is an extraordinary AP or Accelerated or Honors program. What happens to the average kids is not what is going to affect your child. It is how rigorous and intensive is the college prep track.

    The teacher was right, both my kids did very well and got full scholarships to college. Also, find a school where it is accepted or desirable to be on the AP track, so that their friends are all in it with them, makes it so much easier on them. They all suffer together and studying becomes part of the social activity.

  • 35. Caroline  |  February 1, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Are you aware of any research comparing final ACT scores of students who took the ACT as 7th graders (Duke TIP qualifiers)and their final ACT scores in high school compared to those who did not take it before 11th or 12th grade?

  • 36. Rochelle  |  February 3, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    I’m only a freshman in high school, but I’m freaking out because I never got the papers to place me in adv. courses. I really would like to go to Spelman or John Hopkins, but I’m afraid I won’t stand a chance b/c I missed my opportunity in getting in adv. classes. Does anyone have any advice on how to get into these colleges without adv. placement courses?

  • 37. Matt  |  March 11, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Would it be a correct assumption that SAT scores are more influential than ACT scores when applying to a selective school? In 7th grade, i had a 650-710 range for all of the sections of the SAT, and haven’t taken it since. As a sophomore, a have a 32 ACT. I’m hoping that ACT scores are as important as SAT scores because I think that the ACT is easier, but one of my teachers said that I need to concentrate on the SAT more than the ACT. Is that really what I need to do?

  • 38. Matt  |  April 19, 2008 at 1:42 am

    i got a 33, but I don’t really know what it means. i know its good, but what kind of scholarships can I get? How much money can a 33 earn me? I will probably retake the test for a better score.

  • 39. MOM  |  April 23, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    My youngest son, now a Junior, just scored a 34 on his ACT. He is in a gifted program at school and has been encouraged to take the test every year since 7th so not to be stressed over the testing part. He scored 22 in 7th, 32 as a freshman, 33 as a sophomore and now a 34 as a Junior. With his involvement in extracurriculars such as Student Council, BETA, NHS, and BSA, along with a 4.0 gpa (AP/Dual enrollment incl), what are his chances at a major college? His dream goal is MIT, but I think he’ll settle for a state school. Also, does he HAVE to take the writing test???

    • 40. Reine Lauren  |  October 31, 2010 at 4:32 pm

      yes, yale, georgetown, and a lot of others want the act with writing, i know because I’m currently applying. and those are fantastic credentials by the way. . .

  • 41. LEANNA  |  April 30, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    You need a 31-34 to get in Harvard University. bummer for me. i got a 27……oh well….i got full tuition to troy university!!!!!

  • 42. ali  |  September 28, 2010 at 2:59 am

    My son has a 29 in the ACT, is class ranked No. 1, has a 4.6 GPA. Has taken all AP classes, done sport, volunteer work and extracurricular activities, what are his chances of getting into Harvard, Stanford or Washu?

  • 43. Mark  |  October 24, 2010 at 12:58 am

    The average act score is a 21.

  • 44. Daniel  |  August 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I am a juior in high school, and I got a 32 on the ACT my first time as a sophmore (last year). I have a 4.2 GPA, play tennis and football, and am involved in other school-related activities. What are my chances for getting into a school such as MIT, and what else should I have in order to embetter my chances?

  • 45. RCK  |  September 27, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    My son is a 12th grader in a top 100 high school, has a 31 on ACT (planning for another test in October), will have a total of 15 AP classes completed (8 through 11th grade, 7 this year), GPA slightly below 4, an average of 3 on national AP exams (of the eight AP exams taken thus far, 2 4s, 2 2s, and 4 3s) making him an AP Scholar (with a hope to be an AP Honors Scholar when he graduates, but that may not matter since it will be only after he has decided the school), determined on astrophysics, not much on extracurricular activities, volunteered with an astrophysics prof, well educated parents but financially not able to support anything. What chances of him getting a full scholarship in any school that has a decent astrophysics program, like Univ Arizona or Univ Texas, or the likes?


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