ACT Scores for Admission to Top Minnesota Colleges

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

Carleton College Bell Tower
Carleton College Bell Tower. Roy Luck / Flickr

Minnesota is home to many excellent colleges and universities. Some are among the best in the country: the University of Minnesota Twin Cities typically ranks among the top public universities, and Carleton College is one of the country's best liberal arts colleges.

To see how you measure up at some of Minnesota's top colleges, the table below provides ACT scores for the middle 50% of matriculated students.

If your scores fall with or above the ranges below, your scores are on target for admission.

Top Minnesota Colleges ACT Scores (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)
Bethel University212820282027
Carleton College3033----
College of Saint Benedict222821292227
College of St. Scholastica212620252126
Concordia College at Moorhead------
Gustavus Adolphus College------
Hamline University212720272126
Macalester College293330352732
Saint John's University222821272228
St. Olaf College263126332530
University of Minnesota Twin Cities263125322531
University of Minnesota Morris222821282227
University of St. Thomas242923292428
View the SAT version of this table

It's important to put these scores into context. Standardized test scores are just one part of an application, and they are not the most important part. All of the colleges and universities above are at least moderately selective, and they will want to see that you have earned high grades in challenging courses.

strong academic record is the most meaningful measure of an applicant's college readiness.

These colleges also have holistic admissions—the admissions folks want to evaluate you as a whole person, not as a serious of grades and test scores. For this reason, be sure to write a winning essay, participate in meaningful extracurricular activities, and work to get good letters of recommendation.

It's also important to recognize that some students who have high ACT scores can still be rejected if other parts of the application are weak. A 35 on the ACT isn't going to get an applicant into Carleton College if he or she has only superficial extracurricular involvement or failed to take challenging high school courses.

What if You Have Low ACT Scores?

Keep in mind that 25% of applicants who attend these colleges had ACT scores below the lower number in the table. Your chances will certainly be diminished with a score in the bottom 25th percentile, but if you truly shine in other areas, you may still find yourself with an acceptance letter. Colleges are looking for students who will contribute to the campus in meaningful ways, not just applicants with high numerical measures.

Also realize that there are hundreds of test-optional colleges in the United States, and these schools don't use the ACT at all in making admissions decisions (although the scores sometimes are used for scholarship considerations). Finally, if you're a sophomore or junior in high school, you still have plenty of time to take the ACT again in an effort to improve your score.

Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics