ACT Score Comparison for Admission to Arkansas Colleges

A Side-by-Side Comparison of ACT Admissions Data for 21 Arkansas Colleges

Wellness and Athletics Center at Hendrix College
Wellness and Athletics Center at Hendrix College.  Ronny Willhite / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Whether you had straight "A"s or a bunch of "C"s in high school, Arkansas has some excellent college options. The schools in the table below range from those that accept nearly all applicants to a few that are quite selective. The table can help you see how you measure up to other students in Arkansas. If your scores fall within or above the ranges below, you're right on track for admission.

Arkansas Colleges ACT Scores (mid 50%)

(Learn what these numbers mean)

Composite
25%
Composite
75%
English
25%
English
75%
Math 25% Math 75%
Arkansas Baptist College Open admissions Open admissions Open admissions Open admissions Open admissions Open admissions
Arkansas State University 21 26 22 28 20 26
Arkansas Tech Test-Optional Test-Optional Test-Optional Test-Optional Test-Optional Test-Optional
Central Baptist College 18 22 17 23 17 22
Ecclesia College Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
Harding University 22 28 22 31 21 27
Henderson State University 19 25 19 26 18 25
Hendrix College 24 31 25 34 24 29
John Brown University 24 29 23 32 22 27
Lyon College 22 28 21 31 21 27
Ouachita Baptist University 21 28 21 31 20 27
Philander Smith College Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions
Southern Arkansas University 19 25 18 25 18 24
University of Arkansas 23 29 23 30 22 28
University of Arkansas at Little Rock 19 25 18 25 17 24
University of Arkansas at Monticello Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 16 20 15 21 16 19
University of Arkansas at Fort Smith Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions Open Admissions
University of Central Arkansas 21 27 19 25 21 28
University of the Ozarks 18 23 17 24 17 24
Williams Baptist College 18 22 15 23 17 22

View the SAT version of this table

The side-by-side comparison shows ACT scores for the middle 50 percent of matriculated students. The lower number is not a cut-off—25 percent of enrolled students scored at or below the bottom scores in the table.

Also remember that ACT scores are just one part of an application. By far the most important piece in the admissions equation is a strong academic record. The admissions folks are going to want to see that you have earned solid grades in core academic subjects such as math, science, English, social studies, and language. The more selective Arkansas colleges and universities such as Hendrix College and the University of Arkansas will want to see that you have taken the most challenging courses available to you. Advanced Placement, IB, Honors, and dual enrollment courses can all play an important role in the admissions process. 

Some of the schools in Arkansas have holistic admissions, so a winning essay, meaningful extracurricular activities and good letters of recommendation can help make up for less-than-ideal ACT scores. Factors such as legacy status and demonstrated interest can also make a difference.

Note that the ACT is far more popular in Arkansas than the SAT, but all of the schools will accept either exam.

Open Admissions Policies

Several of the schools in the table are listed as having open admissions policies. That label can be a little misleading. It does not mean that everyone who applies gets admitted. Rather, it means that students who meet minimum requirements of GPA, ACT scores, and/or class rank are guaranteed admissions. The precise cut-offs for admission will vary from school to school, so be sure to do your research to learn what the requirements are.

Test-Optional Colleges in Arkansas

If a college or university does not require the SAT or ACT as part of its application, it is not required to report standardized test data to the U.S. Department of Education. That is why Arkansas Tech does not have ACT scores in the table above. 

Several other schools in the state also have test-optional policies. These include Arkansas Baptist College, the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, and the University of the Ozarks (if certain GPA and/or class rank requirements are met). Testing policies change regularly, so be sure to check with the admissions office to get the most up-to-date guidelines.

More ACT Score Information

If you want to compare how colleges and universities in Arkansas compare to some of the top schools in the nation, check out these ACT comparison tables for the Ivy Leaguetop liberal arts colleges, and top public universities. At many of the nation's most elite colleges, ACT scores above 30 are typical.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics