SAT and ACT Scores for Admission to Top Public Liberal Arts Colleges

A Comparison of SAT and ACT Data for Top Public Liberal Arts Colleges

Sturges Hall and Tower at SUNY Geneseo
Sturges Hall and Tower at SUNY Geneseo. Michael MacDonald

If you're considering a top public liberal arts college, you're most likely going to need SAT scores or ACT scores that are at least a little above average. The tables below can help you see how you compare to other applicants. You'll see that New College of Florida, the Honors College of Florida's public university system, has the most selective admissions.  The tables below present SAT scores and ACT scores for the middle 50% of students enrolled in these top public liberal arts colleges from across the country.

If your scores are within the ranges (or above the ranges), you are on target for admission to the school.


Top Public Liberal Arts Colleges SAT Score Comparison
(mid 50%)

College of Charleston500600500590--see graph
The College of New Jersey540640560660--see graph
New College of Florida600700540650--see graph
Ramapo College480590490600--see graph
St. Mary's College of Maryland510640490610--see graph
SUNY Geneseo540650550650--see graph
Truman State University550680520650--see graph
University of Mary Washington510620500590--see graph
University of Minnesota-Morris490580530690--see graph
UNC Asheville530640510610--see graph
Learn what these SAT numbers mean

If you click on the "see graph" links to the right of each row, you'll find a handy visual guide for the grades and standardized test scores of students who were accepted, rejected, and waitlisted at each school.

You may find that some students with high grades were waitlisted or rejected from the school, and/or that students with lower scores (lower than the ranges listed here) were admitted. This is because all of these colleges have a holistic admissions process.

All ten of these colleges will accept SAT scores or ACT scores, so feel free to submit numbers from your best exam.

Below is the ACT version of the table:

Top Public Liberal Arts Colleges ACT Score Comparison (mid 50%)

 ACT Scores
College of Charleston222722282026
The College of New Jersey25302529--
New College of Florida263125332428
Ramapo College212620262026
St. Mary's College of Maryland232922282230
SUNY Geneseo2529----
Truman State University243024322328
University of Mary Washington222721282126
University of Minnesota-Morris222821282227
UNC Asheville232822302126
Learn what these ACT numbers mean

It's important to remember that standardized test scores are just one part of your college application. Perfect scores don't guarantee admission if other parts of your application are weak, and less-than-ideal scores don't need to be the end of your college dreams. Since these schools practice holistic admissions, admissions officers will also want to see a strong academic record, a winning essay, meaningful extracurricular activities and good letters of recommendation.

Another important piece of information to keep in mind is that since these schools are state-funded, out-of-state applicants might need scores even higher than these ranges. The top public universities tend to give preference to in-state applicants.

Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics