ACT Scores for Admission to Top Michigan Colleges

A Side-by-Side Comparison of College Admissions Data for 13 Top Schools

Michigan State University - Linton Hall
Michigan State University - Linton Hall. Justin Rumao / Flickr

Michigan is a big state with many excellent four-year colleges and universities. The table below presents ACT score admissions data for some of the best institutions of higher education in the state. The side-by-side comparison of scores shows 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 top Michigan colleges. Read on to see how you measure up, and to put your ACT scores in perspective.

Michigan Colleges ACT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)

Composite 25% Composite 75% English 25% English 75% Math 25% Math 75%
25% 75% 25% 75% 25% 75%
Albion College 20 26 20 26 19 25
Alma College 20 27 21 27 20 26
Andrews University 21 29 21 30 19 28
Calvin College 23 30 22 31 23 29
Grand Valley State 21 26 21 27 20 26
Hope College 24 29 23 30 23 28
Kalamazoo College 26 30 25 33 25 30
Kettering University 24 29 23 29 26 30
Michigan State 23 28 22 29 23 28
Michigan Tech 25 30 23 30 25 30
University of Detroit Mercy 22 27 20 27 21 28
University of Michigan 30 33 30 35 28 34
University of Michigan Dearborn 22 28 22 29 22 28

View the SAT version of this table

An average ACT composite score is a 21, so you can see that all of these colleges enroll a majority of students who have above average scores. The University of Michigan is the most selective school in the state, and successful applicants almost always have ACT scores that are significantly above average.

Holistic Admissions

Be sure to put ACT scores in perspective. To varying degrees, all of the colleges and universities in the table above have holistic admissions. The schools will be considering both empirical and non-empirical factors when admitting students. A strong ACT score doesn't guarantee admission, nor does a low score mean you can't get in. Keep in mind that 25% of matriculated students had ACT scores below the lower numbers presented in the table.

If your scores are less-than-ideal, remember that non-numerical measures can help compensate for the short-coming. A winning application essay, strong college interview, and meaningful extracurricular activities help reveal the unique talents and interests you'll bring to the campus community. If the school requests them, good letters of recommendation can also carry significant weight during the admissions process, for your recommender can speak about your potential for college success in a way that numerical data cannot.

At many schools, factors such as your demonstrated interest and legacy status can also play a role. Colleges want to enroll students who have proven they are eager to attend, or who have family connections to the school.  

Your Academic Record

The most important part of your application to any of these colleges will be your academic record. High grades in challenging college preparatory classes are the heart of your application, and nothing is a better predictor of college success than success in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual enrollment, and honors courses.

Most schools would rather admit a students who have challenged themselves with difficult high school classes than a student with high ACT scores who has skated by with easy courses. This doesn't mean you need to have taken every AP class offered by your school, but your academic record needs to show that you aren't afraid of taking on academic challenges.

Test-Optional Colleges in Michigan

Among the schools in the table above, only Kalamazoo College has test-optional admissions. If your ACT scores are around the 25th percentile or lower but you have a strong academic record, you will probably be better off not submitting scores to Kalamazoo. Unlike many test-optional colleges, Kalamazoo's policy applies to all applicants including international students and home-schooled students. Also, you can still apply for college scholarships without SAT or ACT scores.

Note that Michigan does have other test-optional colleges, but they are much less selective than those presented in the table above. Options include Finlandia University, Northwestern Michigan College, Siena Heights University, Walsh College, Baker College,  and Ferris State University (for students with qualifying GPAs).

More ACT Data

If you don't find colleges and universities in Michigan that appear to be a good match for you personally and academically, be sure to check out schools in neighboring states. You can compare ACT data for admission to top colleges and universities in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The Midwest has a wide range of excellent options for higher education whether you're looking for a large public university or small liberal arts college.

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics

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Your Citation
Grove, Allen. "ACT Scores for Admission to Top Michigan Colleges." ThoughtCo, Oct. 29, 2020, Grove, Allen. (2020, October 29). ACT Scores for Admission to Top Michigan Colleges. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "ACT Scores for Admission to Top Michigan Colleges." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 29, 2023).