ACT Scores for Admission to the Big Ten

A Side-by-Side Comparison of College Admissions Data

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Big Ten schools. Frances Twitty / Getty Images

If you're wondering if you have the ACT scores you'll need to get into one of the Big Ten universities, here's a side-by-side comparison of scores for the middle 50% of enrolled students. If your scores fall within or above these ranges, you're on target for admission to one of these universities.

Realize, of course, that ACT scores are just one part of the application. The Big Ten admissions officers will also be looking for a strong high school record and meaningful extracurricular activities.

Big Ten ACT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)

 CompositeEnglishMath
 25%75%25%75%25%75%
Illinois263225332533
Indiana253124322430
Iowa232822292228
Maryland293329352833
Michigan303330352834
Michigan State232822292328
Minnesota263125322631
Nebraska222921292128
Northwestern323432343234
Ohio State273127332732
Penn State253025312530
Purdue253124322632
RutgersNot Reported
Wisconsin273126332631
View the SAT version of this table

Ideally your scores will be above the lower numbers in the table, but don't give up hope if they are not. 25 percent of students had scores at or below the lower number. That said, if your scores are on the low end of the scale, you'll want to make sure that other parts of your application truly shine.

The most important piece of your university application is your high school record. The admissions personnel at all of the Big Ten universities will want to see that you have challenged yourself in high school.

High grades in core subjects are essential. Better yet are high grades in challenging AP, IB, Honors, and dual enrollment classes. Success in these courses is the best way you can demonstrate your college readiness.

Each university will have slightly different admissions criteria, but non-numerical measures will also be important.

The schools will want to see meaningful involvement in extracurricular activities, and better yet will be demonstration of leadership in your extracurriculars. Most schools will also want to see a winning application essay and glowing letters of recommendation. If your grades and test scores are too far below the norm, these holistic measures won't be enough, but they can make a significant difference with borderline applicants.

Data from National Center for Education Statistics