ACT Scores for Admission to Top Pennsylvania Colleges

A Side-by-Side Comparison of College Admissions Data for 19 Top Schools

Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr College. Montgomery County Planning Commission / Flickr

What ACT scores do you need to get into one of the top Pennsylvania colleges or universities? This 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 Pennsylvania colleges.

Pennsylvania Colleges SAT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)
 SAT Scores
Allegheny College232922302327
Bryn Mawr College293330352632
Bucknell University283128332631
Carnegie Mellon University323532353235
Dickinson CollegeTest-Optional Admissions
Franklin and Marshall CollegeTest-Optional Admissions
Gettysburg CollegeTest-Optional Admissions
Grove City College233223282332
Haverford University313432352934
Juniata CollegeTest-Optional Admissions
Lafayette College283128332732
Lehigh University293228342732
Muhlenberg College253025322428
University of Pennsylvania323533353035
Penn State University253025312530
University of Pittsburgh273226332631
Swarthmore College313431352934
Ursinus College243023302428
Villanova University303330352833
View the SAT version of this table

To be competitive for admission, you'll want your scores to be above the lower numbers in the table. But keep in mind what these numbers mean. That lower number is not a cut-off point. 25 percent of applicants scored at or below that number. You can still be admitted with less-than-ideal ACT scores if other parts of your application are strong.

A Strong Academic Record

With few exceptions, the most important part of your college application will be your academic record. But realize colleges are looking for more than good grades. A school won't be impressed if you earned lots of "A" grades but never took any classes that challenged you. The strongest applicants take the most challenging classes available to them Success in IB, AP, Honors, and dual enrollment classes tells a college that you are well-prepared to handle college-level work.

Holistic Admissions

Along with grades and standardized test scores, the admissions folks will be taking into consideration many non-numerical measures.

The strongest applicants will have a winning application essay, meaningful extracurricular activities and good letters of recommendation. Meaningful strengths in these areas can help make up for ACT scores that are a little less than ideal.

Test-Optional Admissions

Several of Pennsylvania's liberal arts colleges have test optional admissions.

Four of these are identified in the table above, and Allegheny College, Muhlenberg College, and Ursinus College also do not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their applications. You are welcome to send scores if you think they will strengthen your application, but there is no penalty for withholding them.

Data from the National Institute for Education Statistics