SAT Scores for Admission to Top Michigan Colleges

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

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Michigan State University. Copyright Matt Kazmierski / Getty Images

Do you have the SAT scores you need to get into one of the top Michigan colleges and universities? This side-by-side comparison shows 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 in Michigan.

Michigan Colleges SAT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)

Reading 25% Reading 75% Math 25% Math 75%
Albion College 510 610 500 590
Alma College 520 630 510 600
Andrews University 510 660 530 660
Calvin College 560 660 540 670
Grand Valley State 530 620 520 610
Hope College 550 660 540 660
Kalamazoo College 600 690 580 690
Kettering University 580 660 610 690
Michigan State 550 650 550 670
Michigan Tech 570 660 590 680
University of Detroit Mercy 520 610 520 620
University of Michigan 660 730 670 770
University of Michigan Dearborn 530 640 530 650

View the ACT version of this table

The 25th percentile number tells us that 25% of admitted students scored at or below this number. Similarly, the 75th percentile number indicates that 25% of applicants scored at or above this number. Students who are in the top quartile and have a strong academic record are extremely likely to be admitted unless other parts of the application raise cause for concern.

An average SAT score is a little over 500 for each section, so you can see that successful applicants to the schools in the table tend to be above average.

Holistic Admissions

It's important to keep in mind that SAT scores are just one piece of your application. By themselves, SAT scores are not likely to earn you an acceptance letter or a rejection. All of the schools in the table above have holistic admissions, and consequently, all take into account numerical measures such as grades, class rank, and SAT scores, as well as non-numerical measures.

Put yourself in the shoes of the admissions officers. The college is, of course, looking for students who are likely to succeed academically, but the admissions folks are also working to enroll students who will contribute to the campus community in meaningful ways. For this reason, if you can show leadership and accomplishments with your extracurricular activities, you will strengthen your application considerably. Your college interview (if there is one) and application essay are also places where you can highlight your personality and interests.

If you don't think your academic record or SAT scores truly demonstrate your academic potential, it can be useful to have one of your teachers talk about your academic promise. A strong letter of recommendation from an educator who knows you well will be more compelling than a statement that you write about your grades or test scores.

It's also possible that you can help compensate for sub-par SAT scores if you have legacy status or work to demonstrate your interest. Legacy status, of course, is not something that you can control, but colleges do like to build family loyalty. Demonstrated interest, on the other hand, is largely in your control. Carefully crafted and specific supplemental essays, a campus visit, and applying through early decision or early action are all ways to help show your interest in a school.

Your Academic Record

SAT scores are not the most important part of your application. Your academic record is. Numerous studies have shown that good grades in challenging courses are a much better predictor of college success than the score you earned on a test one Saturday morning. The most effective way to strengthen your college application is to succeed in challenging classes such as AP, IB, dual enrollment, and honors. Such courses show that you are capable of college-level work.

Test-Optional Michigan Colleges

For some colleges, SAT and ACT scores are not a required part of the application, so you don't need to worry if you got a score that is below the norm. In the table above, Kalamazoo College is the only one that has test-optional admissions. You don't need SAT scores to apply to the school or win college scholarships. This is true for all applicants including home-schooled students and international students.

There are many less selective Michigan colleges that do not require test scores. These include Walsh College, Baker College, Siena Heights University, Northwestern Michigan College, Finlandia University, and to a lesser extent, Ferris State University (you need to meet a certain GPA requirement at Ferris State to qualify for test-optional admissions).

Expand Your College Search

As you research colleges that are a good match for your academic qualifications, you may want to expand your search beyond Michigan. You can compare SAT scores for Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin colleges to see which schools are in line with your credentials. The midwestern United States has a wealth of excellent options ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large Division I public universities.

SAT data from the National Center for Education Statistics