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%)

Reading 25% Reading 75% Math 25% Math 75% Writing 25% Writing 75% GPA-SAT-ACT
Admissions
Scattergram
College of Charleston 500 600 500 590 - - see graph
The College of New Jersey 540 640 560 660 - - see graph
New College of Florida 600 700 540 650 - - see graph
Ramapo College 480 590 490 600 - - see graph
St. Mary's College of Maryland 510 640 490 610 - - see graph
SUNY Geneseo 540 650 550 650 - - see graph
Truman State University 550 680 520 650 - - see graph
University of Mary Washington 510 620 500 590 - - see graph
University of Minnesota-Morris 490 580 530 690 - - see graph
UNC Asheville 530 640 510 610 - - see graph
 

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%)

Composite 25% Composite 75% English 25% English 75% Math 25% Math 75%
College of Charleston 22 27 22 28 20 26
The College of New Jersey 25 30 25 29 - -
New College of Florida 26 31 25 33 24 28
Ramapo College 21 26 20 26 20 26
St. Mary's College of Maryland 23 29 22 28 22 30
SUNY Geneseo 25 29 - - - -
Truman State University 24 30 24 32 23 28
University of Mary Washington 22 27 21 28 21 26
University of Minnesota-Morris 22 28 21 28 22 27
UNC Asheville 23 28 22 30 21 26

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