SAT and ACT Scores for Admission to Top Women's Colleges

AComparison of SAT and ACT Scores for Highly Ranked Women's Colleges

Scripps College
Scripps College. becca pie / Flickr

Do you have the SAT or ACT scores you need to get into a competitive women's colleges? This article compares the SAT scores and ACT scores of accepted students for eleven highly ranked women's colleges. If your scores fall within or above the range in the table below, you're on target for admission to one of these great women's colleges. Each of these colleges offers a top-rate education, but you'll see that admissions standards vary widely, and several schools have test-optional admissions and don't require SAT or ACT scores at all.

Top Women's Colleges SAT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)

Reading 25% Reading 75% Math 25% Math 75% Writing 25% Writing 75%
Barnard 640 740 630 730 - -
Bryn Mawr 610 730 610 720 - -
Mills 485 640 440 593 - -
Scripps 660 740 630 700 - -
Simmons 550 650 530 610 - -
Spelman 500 590 480 580 - -
Stephens 458 615 440 570 - -
Wellesley 660 750 650 750 - -

All of the women's colleges in this article accept both the SAT and the ACT. Most of the schools are on the east and west coasts where the SAT is the dominant exam. Stephens, however, is in ACT territory, and 96% of applicants to the college submitted ACT scores. For all schools, however, you should feel free to use whichever exam you prefer. The table below presents ACT score ranges for admission:

Top Women's Colleges ACT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)

Composite 25% Composite 75% English 25% English 75% Math 25% Math 75%
Barnard 29 32 30 35 27 32
Bryn Mawr 28 32 30 35 26 31
Mills 23 29 - - - -
Scripps 28 32 30 34 26 31
Simmons 24 29 23 30 23 27
Spelman 22 26 19 25 21 26
Stephens 20 25 19 26 17 23
Wellesley 30 33 31 35 28 33

*Note: Agnes Scott, Mount Holyoke, and Smith are not included in these charts due to their policy of test-optional admissions.

Of course, it's important to remember that SAT scores are just one part of the application. It's possible to have scores above the averages presented here and still get rejected if other parts of your application are weak. Similarly, some students with scores significantly below the ranges listed here gain admission because they demonstrate other strengths. Your application essay, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular involvement can all play a significant role in the admissions process. Most important of all will be a strong academic record with good grades in challenging college preparatory classes.

For each of these women's colleges, you can learn more about the school and what it takes to be admitted by following the links below. The GPA-SAT-ACT graphs are particularly useful for a visual representation of how your qualifications measure up against accepted and rejected students:

Agnes Scott College: A small (fewer than 1,000 students) private college in Decatur, Georgia, just a few miles from Atlanta. Learn more in the Agnes Scott profile and the GPA-SAT-ACT graph for Agnes Scott.

Barnard College:  One of the more selective colleges on this list, Barnard is a great choice for city lovers for the campus sits across the street from Columbia University in Manhattan. Learn more in the Barnard College profile, the GPA-SAT-ACT graph and the Barnard College photo tour.

Bryn Mawr College: Located near Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr has exchange programs with Swarthmore, Haverford, and the University of Pennsylvania. Admission standards are high. You can learn more in the Bryn Mawr Profile and the Graph of GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Bryn Mawr admission.

Mills College: One of the two West Coast colleges featured in this article, Mills has a rich history going back to 1852. The admissions bar isn't quite as high as a few of the schools on the list. Learn more about the school and what it takes to be admitted in the Mills College profile and the Mills GPA-SAT-ACT admissions graph.

Mount Holyoke College: Mount Holyoke wins high marks for the beauty of its campus, and applicants don't need to worry about SAT or ACT scores because of the college's test-optional policy. That said, you can see how you compare to other applicants with the Mount Holyoke GPA-SAT-ACT graph and the Mount Holyoke profile.

Scripps College: When you attend Scripps, you get the advantage of a women's college with the added benefit of easy cross-registration with any of the Claremont Colleges. Learn more in the Scripps College profile and Scripps GPA-SAT-ACT graph.

Simmons College: Massachusetts is home to four of the schools featured in this article, and Simmons has an enviable location in Boston's Fenway neighborhood. Learn more about the school in the Simmons College profile and the graph of GPA, SAT and ACT data for Simmons admission.

Smith College: Smith, like Mount Holyoke, is a member of the five-college consortium, so students have the opportunity to take classes at neighboring institutions. You won't need to submit SAT or ACT scores to get into Smith, but you can still see how you measure up with admitted students with the Smith College profile and the Smith GPA-SAT-ACT graph.

Spelman College: Spelman is the only historically Black college on this list, and this college in Atlanta, Georgia, frequently wins high marks for its success in helping its students rise in socio-economic status. Learn more in the Spelman College profile and the Spelman GPA-SAT-ACT admissions graph.

Stephens College: Located in Columbia, Missouri, Stephens College proves that you don't need to be on the East or West Coast to attend an excellent women's college. Learn more about the school in the Stephens College profile and the graph of GPA, SAT and ACT data for Stephens admission.

Wellesley College: Wellesley's nearly $2 billion endowment and excellent faculty and facilities earned it a place on my list of the nation's top liberal arts colleges. Check out the school in the Wellesley College photo tour and profile, and see what it takes to get in with the Wellesley GPA-SAT-ACT graph.

data from National Center for Educational Statistics

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Grove, Allen. "SAT and ACT Scores for Admission to Top Women's Colleges." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Grove, Allen. (2023, April 5). SAT and ACT Scores for Admission to Top Women's Colleges. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "SAT and ACT Scores for Admission to Top Women's Colleges." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 4, 2023).