ACT Scores for Admission to Top Colleges

A Side-by-Side Comparison of ACT Scores for Top Liberal Arts Colleges

Amherst College
Amherst College. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

If you're wondering if your ACT scores are good enough to get you into an one of the country's top liberal arts colleges, here's a helpful side-by-side comparison of scores for the middle 50% of enrolled students. If your scores fall within or above these ranges, you're right on target for admission to one of these liberal arts colleges.

Top College ACT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)
 ACT Scores
Amherst College323433352934
Carleton College3134----
Grinnell College303430352833
Haverford College313432352934
Middlebury College3034----
Pomona College303432352834
Swarthmore College313431352934
Wellesley College303332352733
Wesleyan UniversityTest-Optional Admissions
Williams College313532352934
View the SAT version of this table

Realize, of course, that ACT scores are just one part of the application. 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. That's because these schools, in general, have holistic admissions. This means they will look at more than test scores and grades, and will take other things into account, such as: letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, work or volunteer experience, and an applicant's academic background and variety. Also, it's good to keep in mind that 25% of admitted students have ACT scores below the lower numbers in the table. Still, these schools are selective, with low acceptance rates across the board. Strong ACT scores certainly help support an application, and those with higher scores tend to fare better in the application process.

To see a full profile of each college, click on the names in the table above. And if you want to get a sense of how other applicants have fared, click on the "see graph" links to the right. These charts show the GPA and test scores of those admitted, waitlisted, and rejected from each school. You might see some applicants with good ACT scores that were not admitted, and some with below-average scores that were admitted.

Also be sure to check out these other ACT links (or SAT links):

ACT Comparison Charts: the Ivy League | top universities | top liberal arts colleges | more top liberal arts | top public universities | top public liberal arts colleges | University of California campuses | Cal State campuses | SUNY campuses | More ACT charts

Data from National Center for Education Statistics