SAT Scores for Admission to Top Liberal Arts Colleges

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Top College Admissions Data

Middlebury College Campus
Middlebury College Campus. (Alan Levine/Flickr)

If you're wondering if you have the SAT scores you'll need to get into one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States, here's a side-by-side comparison of scores for the middle 50% of enrolled students. If your scores fall within or above these ranges, you're on target for admission to one of these top colleges.

Top Liberal Arts College SAT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)
Amherst College680775680780--see graph
Carleton College660770660770--see graph
Grinnell College640750680780--see graph
Haverford College660760660760--see graph
Middlebury College630740650755--see graph
Pomona College670770670770--see graph
Swarthmore College645760660770--see graph
Wellesley College660750650750--see graph
Wesleyan University------see graph
Williams College670770660770--see graph
View the ACT version of this table
Will You Get In? Calculate your chances with this free tool from Cappex

Realize, of course, that SAT scores are just one part of the application. All of these liberal arts colleges have holistic admissions, so the admissions officers will be trying to get to know you as a full person, not as an empirical equation of test scores and grades. Perfect 800s on the SAT don't guarantee admission if other parts of your application are weak, and numbers below those in the table above to not preclude admission if you are strong in other areas. It's important to remember that 25% of admitted students have SAT scores below the lower numbers in the table.

That said, your chances of admission will be best if your SAT scores are within or above the ranges shown above, and the other pieces of your application are also strong: a strong academic record, a winning essay, meaningful extracurricular activities, and ​good letters of recommendation. In many cases, demonstrated interest can also play a role in the admissions equation.

We also recommend that applicants keep their chances of admission to these top colleges in perspective. Most of these schools have acceptance rates in the teens, and many students who have grades and test scores that are on target for admission will still be rejected.

If you click on a school's name above, you'll go to the admissions profile where you can find more admissions statistics as well as cost and financial aid information.

The "see graph" link will take you to a graph of GPA, SAT and ACT data for students who were admitted, rejected and wait listed.

Data from the National Center for Educational Statistics

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Your Citation
Grove, Allen. "SAT Scores for Admission to Top Liberal Arts Colleges." ThoughtCo, Dec. 4, 2017, Grove, Allen. (2017, December 4). SAT Scores for Admission to Top Liberal Arts Colleges. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "SAT Scores for Admission to Top Liberal Arts Colleges." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 20, 2018).