ACT Scores for Admission to Top Texas Colleges

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

University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin. Amy Jacobson

What ACT scores do you need to get into one of the top Texas colleges or universities? This side-by-side comparison of scores shows the middle 50 percent of enrolled students. If your scores fall within or above these ranges, you're on target for admission to one of these top Texas colleges.

Top Texas Colleges ACT Score Comparison (mid 50 Percent)

Composite 25% Composite 75% English 25% English 75% Math 25% Math 75%
Austin College 23 29 - - - -
Baylor University 26 31 25 32 25 29
Rice University 33 35 33 35 31 35
St. Edwards University 22 28 22 28 21 26
Southern Methodist University 28 32 28 34 27 31
Southwestern University 23 29 22 30 22 27
Texas A&M 24 30 23 30 24 29
Texas Christian University 25 30 26 33 25 29
Texas Tech 22 27 21 26 21 26
Trinity University 27 32 27 34 26 30
University of Dallas 24 31 24 33 23 28
UT Austin 26 33 25 34 26 32
UT Dallas 26 32 25 34 26 32

Test Scores and Your College Admission Application

Realize, of course, that ACT scores are just one part of the application. The admissions officers in Texas will also want to see a strong academic record, a winning essay, meaningful extracurricular activities and good letters of recommendation.

You will see that some universities are more selective. A student who was at the 75th percentile for Texas Tech or St. Edwards would be in the bottom 25th percentile for Southern Methodist University or Rice University. That doesn't rule you out altogether if you have a lower score, but it does mean that the rest of your application should be as strong as possible.

If you have a lower score and are admitted, you should also consider that your classmates will generally have scored better than you. That may be a good way to keep yourself challenged, but it can also be daunting.

The range of scores changes slightly from year to year, but usually no more than a point or two for any university. This data is from that reported for 2015.

What Do Percentiles Mean?

To calculate the percentiles, all scores of enrolled students were compiled. Half of the enrolled students had scores between the 25th and the 75th percentile. You would be in the average mix of students who applied to that school and were accepted if that is where your score falls.

If your score was at the 25th percentile, it is better than the bottom quarter of those who were accepted to that university. However, three-quarters of those accepted scored better than that number. If you score below the 25th percentile, it probably won't weigh favorably for your application for that university.

If your score is at the 75th percentile, it is higher than three-quarters of the others who were accepted at that school. Only one-quarter of those accepted scored better than you for that element. If you are above the 75th percentile, this will likely weigh favorably for your application.

Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics