ACT Score Comparison for Top Universities

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Top University Admissions Data

Stanford University
Stanford University. (Daniel Hartwig/Flickr)

If you're wondering if your scores from the ACT can help get into one of the top private universities in the United States, check out the chart below! Here you'll see a side-by-side comparison of scores for the middle 50% of enrolled students at these twelve schools. If your scores fall within or above these ranges, you're on target for admission to one of these top colleges.

Top University ACT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
 ACT Scores
Carnegie Mellon323532353235
Johns Hopkins333533353135
Notre Dame3234----
University of Chicago323533353135
Washington University323433353135
View the SAT version of this table

Note that a comparison of ACT data for the 8 Ivy League schools is covered in a separate article.

If you click on a school's name in the left column, you can get more admissions data including a graph of GPA, SAT, and ACT data for admitted, rejected, and waitlisted students. There, you might see some students with ACT scores above average who didn't get admitted, and/or students with low ACT scores that were admitted. Since these schools generally practice holistic admissions, grades and ACT (and SAT) scores are not the only factors schools look at.

With holistic admissions, ACT scores are just one part of the application process. It's possible to have perfect 36s for each ACT subject and still get rejected if other parts of your application are weak. Similarly, some students with scores significantly below the ranges listed here gain admission because they demonstrate other strengths. Schools on this list also look at academic history and records, strong writing skills, a range of extracurricular activities, and good letters of recommendation.

So if your scores don't quite meet these ranges, don't worry—but do make sure you have a strong application to support you.

Data from National Center for Education Statistics