ACT Scores for Admission to Top Public Universities

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Top Public University Admissions Data

Royce Hall at UCLA
Royce Hall at UCLA. Photo Credit: Marisa Benjamin

Your ACT scores can be an important part of your public university application. This article presents a side-by-side comparison of ACT scores for the country's top public universities. If your scores fall within or above these ranges, you're on target for admission to one of these public universities.

Top Public University ACT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)

Composite 25% Composite 75% English 25% English 75% Math 25% Math 75% GPA-SAT-ACT
College of William and Mary 29 33 30 35 27 32 see graph
Georgia Tech 30 34 31 35 30 35 see graph
UC Berkeley 30 34 29 35 28 35 see graph
UCLA 29 34 28 35 27 34 see graph
UC San Diego 27 33 25 33 27 33 see graph
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign 26 32 25 33 25 33 see graph
University of Michigan 30 33 30 35 28 34 see graph
UNC Chapel Hill 28 33 28 34 27 32 see graph
University of Virginia 29 33 30 35 28 33 see graph
University of Wisconsin 27 31 26 33 26 31 see graph

View the SAT version of this table

ACT scores, of course, are just one part of the application. It's possible to have scores above the averages presented here 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.

Also, if you are an out-of-state applicant, you may need to have scores significantly higher than those shown here. Most public universities give preference to in-state applicants.

Realize that the schools in the table above are some of the most selective public universities in the country. If your scores fall below the ranges you see above, you still have hundreds of excellent options that have a lower admissions bar. 

To see a full profile of each college, click on the names in the table above. You can also check out these other ACT links (or SAT links):

ACT Comparison Charts: 22 more public universities | 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 the National Center for Educational Statistics

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Your Citation
Grove, Allen. "ACT Scores for Admission to Top Public Universities." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, Grove, Allen. (2020, August 25). ACT Scores for Admission to Top Public Universities. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "ACT Scores for Admission to Top Public Universities." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 21, 2023).