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)
Arkansas Baptist CollegeOpen Admissions
Arkansas State University212622282026
Arkansas TechTest-Optional
Central Baptist College182217231722
Ecclesia CollegeNot Reported
Harding University222822312127
Henderson State University192519261825
Hendrix College243125342429
John Brown University242923322227
Lyon College222821312127
Ouachita Baptist University212821302027
Philander Smith CollegeOpen Admissions
Southern Arkansas University192518251824
University of Arkansas232923302228
University of Arkansas at Little Rock192518251724
University of Arkansas at MonticelloOpen Admissions
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff162015211619
University of Arkansas at Fort SmithOpen Admissions
University of Central Arkansas212719252128
University of the Ozarks182317241724
Williams Baptist College182215231722
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