Universities and Colleges By SAT Score Percentiles

Why Search By SAT Score Percentiles?

When you're considering to which public college or university to apply, sometimes it is very helpful to browse through schools that have students scoring similarly on the SAT as you did. If your SAT scores are completely lower or higher than 75% of the students who were accepted to a particular school, then perhaps you would be better off searching for a school where students are more in your range, although exceptions are certainly made all the time.

If you have scored between in a similar range, and all your other credentials fit – GPA, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters, etc. – then perhaps one of these schools would be a good fit. Please keep in mind that this list is for the composite SAT scores.

Which SAT Score Percentiles Are Included?

This is a list of both public and private colleges and universities arranged by SAT score percentiles, specifically, the 25th percentile. What does that mean? 75% of the accepted students scored above or at the composite SAT scores listed below.

You'll notice that I ended the list before I got to the 1200 – 1500 range because there were just too many schools to include. Chances are good, if the school to which you're thinking of applying is not listed in any of the following compilations, then its 25th percentile scores are probably in the 1200 – 1500 range (or an average of 400 – 500 per test section).

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More Than Just SAT Score Percentiles

Before you plunge into the list of schools, feel free to take a look around and familiarize yourself with some SAT statistics. First, find out what those score percentiles mean, then browse through some of the national averages, SAT scores by state, and more.

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25th Percentile Scores from 2100 - 2400 (Old scale) or 1470 - 1600 (New scale)

Harvard score percentiles
Getty Images | Paul Manilou

You'd better believe this list is a short one. If 75% of all accepted students for the following colleges and universities are scoring in this incredibly high range, then the list is definitely going to be exclusive. But, because the list is so short, I've included the individual score ranges by test section (Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing on the old scale), so you can get an idea of what some students are earning on the SAT. Amazing! Most accepted students are averaging between 490 - 530 (700 – 800 on the old scale) on each test section!

College students
Roy Mehta/ Iconica/ Getty Images

This list is definitely longer, although I was still able to keep both private and public universities in the same article. Browse through the directory for colleges and universities that tend to accept students who score above average on the SAT, or roughly 430 - 530 (600 – 700 on the old scale) per SAT test section , which is still pretty darn incredible. More »

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25th Percentile Scores from 1500 - 1800 (Old scale) or 1080 - 1290 (New scale)

Student studying in library
Cultura/Luc Beziat/Riser/Getty Images

Here's where I had to divide and conquer, as that 1080 score range (1500 on the old scale) gets much closer to national SAT averages. See below for both public and private colleges and universities where 75% of the accepted students are hitting the national averages on each test section. 

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SAT Score Percentiles Summary

SAT scores
Getty Images | Michelle Joyce

Don't sweat it if a school to which you're interested in applying is out of your range. You can always go for it. The most they can do is keep your application fee and tell you "No."

It is important, though, that you at least understand the range of scores the schools are typically accepting so you have realistic expectations. If your GPA is in the "meh" range, you haven't done anything notable in high school at all, and your SAT scores are below average, then shooting for one of the top-ranking schools like Harvard may be a stretch.Save your application fee and your time and apply somewhere else you will have a better shot of getting into.