SAT Scores for Admission to the Big Ten

A Side-by-Side Comparison of College Admissions Data

Law School Quadrangle, University of Michigan
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If you're wondering if you have the SAT scores you'll need to get into one of the Big Ten universities, here's a side-by-side comparison of scores for 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 universities.

Big Ten SAT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)

Reading 25% Reading 75% Math 25% Math 75%
Illinois 630 710 710 790
Indiana 570 670 570 680
Iowa 570 680 570 690
Maryland 630 720 650 750
Michigan 660 730 670 770
Michigan State 550 650 550 670
Minnesota 620 720 650 760
Nebraska 550 680 550 700
Northwestern 700 770 720 790
Ohio State 610 700 650 750
Penn State 580 660 580 680
Purdue 570 670 580 710
Rutgers 590 680 600 720
Wisconsin 620 690 660 760

View the ACT version of this table.

If your SAT scores fall below the lower number in the table, don't lose hope of being admitted. 25 percent of all enrolled students scored at or below that lower number. That said, you'll need to show significant strengths in other areas of your application to make up for less-than ideal SAT scores. 

All of the Big Ten schools are selective, and all have some form of holistic admissions. In other words, admissions decisions are not based entirely upon numerical data such as class rank, standardized test scores, and grades.

The most important part of your application will be a strong high school record. The admissions folks will be looking at more than grades. They will want to see that you have challenged yourself throughout high school. Success in Advanced Placement, IB, Honors, and dual enrollment courses can all strengthen your application, for these classes are one of the best measures of college readiness.

Non-numerical measures are also important at most of the Big Ten schools. The universities will want to see depth in meaningful extracurricular activities, and many will also request an application essay and letters of recommendation. Demonstrated interest and legacy status can make a difference at some schools.

data from National Center for Education Statistics

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Grove, Allen. "SAT Scores for Admission to the Big Ten." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Grove, Allen. (2020, August 27). SAT Scores for Admission to the Big Ten. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "SAT Scores for Admission to the Big Ten." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 23, 2023).