ACT Score For Scholarships | Target Score Ranges

Use your ACT score to pay for college, not just to get into one. Scholarship opportunities are everywhere. To tap into that money, let’s talk about what ACT score for scholarships is needed.

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What’s A Good ACT Score For Scholarships?

Let’s look at the short and long answers here.

If you just want the short answer, anything above 30 is a good score to hit. But, there’s more to it than that.

The Long Answer Requires More Questions To Ask

A simple number alone won’t cut it.

The longer answer to your question needs to consider other factors:

  • Which scholarship specifically?
  • Which schools are you looking at?

Scoring 30 or above automatically puts you in the 90th percentile, which puts you ahead of most students who take the test. Chances are great that you can pull in scholarship money.

However, scholarships are also available for students who score in the 20s or even less. So, again, the long answer is – which scholarships and schools are you looking at? Keep in mind that some scholarships require specific ACT subsections scores to qualify.

For example, engineering and other science-based scholarships will naturally want high Science section scores. Looking at the fine print for every scholarship you apply for is key.

Think More About The Score Range

Don’t get hung up on getting one specific score for every scholarship.

There are many available scholarships out there; all of them have different rules and eligibility criteria. Don’t think of one ACT score as a one-size-fits-all solution.

Some scholarships don’t even require one specific score, but rather one within a given range. At a minimum, an ACT score of 25 should qualify you for lower-level scholarship money.

However, as the amount increases, scholarships become more competitive and the score ranges increase. Again, the barest minimum to shoot for is the 20-25 score range.

For many colleges and universities, an ACT score that relatively low is barely enough for admissions. However, simply getting accepted with those scores is often good enough for a grant alone.

Most colleges and universities also offer their own merit-based scholarships, which scores that low can sometimes qualify you for. For example, at Mississippi State University, a 3.0 high school GPA and an ACT score between 20-26 will get you $1000-$2000 in scholarships.


The Best Possible ACT Score For Scholarships Ranges

However, for the widest range of opportunities, then the 25-30 score range is better.

At Kent State University, a 3.3 GPA and 25 ACT score will garner you over $4000 in scholarship money. Similar to Kent State, the University of Maine can provide you $4000-$6000 in scholarship money for ACT scores from 26-28.

Unsurprisingly, the highest potential comes with ACT scores 30+. With ACT scores in the 30-36 range, it’s possible to win $10,000 or more in scholarship prizes. For example, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville grants scholarships up to $32,000 for students with ACT scores in the 34-36 range.

If you don’t hit that range, it’s still possible to receive over $20,000 from them if you score between 30-33. The biggest takeaway here is that you don’t need to score a perfect 36 for substantial scholarship money.

Think about score ranges you want to hit, and base your scholarship hunting on those targets instead. It’ll make it easier to find more potential scholarship opportunities fast, and take the pressure off of thinking that you need one perfect score.


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