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Planning and preparing for the SAT and ACT is tough proposition. Let our experts make it easier for you and your student by reviewing some of the many options available to improve scores, grow scholarship offers, and get into the best college!

Average SAT Scores by State

You’ve just gotten back your SAT score, and you’re curious how you stack up against other students in your state, or students in other states. Look no further—Prep Expert has ranked all 50 US states and the District of Columbia by students’ average SAT scores.

The top three states by average SAT score are Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Minnesota, with averages of 1130, 1126, and 1107, respectively.

The bottom three states are Maine, Alabama, and West Virginia, with average scores of 1008, 998, and 963. The national average is 1000.

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The full rankings are below!

SAT Scores by U.S. State

Our complete list of the average SAT scores by state.

  1. Massachusetts: 1130
  2. Connecticut: 1126
  3. Minnesota: 1107
  4. New Jersey: 1104
  5. Illinois: 1101
  6. New Hampshire: 1101
  7. North Dakota: 1099
  8. Virginia: 1099
  9. South Dakota: 1099
  10. Iowa: 1098
  11. Wisconsin: 1096
  12. Vermont: 1093
  13. Colorado: 1090
  14. Missouri: 1089
  15. Michigan: 1086
  16. Kansas: 1081
  17. Georgia: 1080
  18. Indiana: 1075
  19. Florida: 1073
  20. Nebraska: 1070
  21. Wyoming: 1067
  22. Kentucky: 1064
  23. New York: 1062
  24. North Carolina: 1062
  25. Oregon: 1058
  26. Maryland: 1057
  27. Washington: 1057
  28. Idaho: 1056
  29. South Carolina: 1056
  30. Hawaii: 1056
  31. Tennessee: 1054
  32. California: 1053
  33. Ohio: 1051
  34. Arizona: 1045
  35. Pennsylvania: 1044
  36. Oklahoma: 1043
  37. Rhode Island: 1042
  38. Montana: 1039
  39. Alaska: 1037
  40. Mississippi: 1035
  41. Arkansas: 1034
  42. Utah: 1027
  43. Texas: 1026
  44. Nevada: 1017
  45. New Mexico: 1016
  46. Delaware: 1015
  47. District of Columbia: 1012
  48. Louisiana: 1011
  49. Maine: 1008
  50. Alabama: 998
  51. West Virginia: 963

What accounts for these differences?

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Educational Funding

The discrepancy in average SAT scores among the states is mostly due to differences in states’ educational budgets, which affect the quality of student education.

The states at the top of the rankings are generally wealthier, and have large educational budgets, along with strong dedications to provide their students with a quality education. The states at the bottom of the list are poorer, with relatively small education budgets. These average SAT scores show the price students in the poorer states pay for that discrepancy.

How much do these rankings matter to you?

College Admissions

For college admissions purposes, state averages don’t matter much. You’re not competing with states. You’ll be competing with the other applicants at the schools to which you’re applying, who are likely to have much higher SAT scores than those listed above, at most competitive schools. The average SAT score of a successful Harvard applicant, for example, is 1580, a full 450 more than the Massachusetts average, and a whopping 617 points higher than the West Virginia average.

The one exception to this is for applicants to state colleges and universities. If you are applying to a public college or university in your state, you’re mostly in competition with other students from your state. So, in this instance, having an SAT much higher than the state average is a great asset, setting you above many of your fellow applicants.

Scholarships

Many college scholarships are state-specific, meaning the higher you are above your state’s average, the more competitive you are for a scholarship. The best way to find a scholarship program specific to your state is to Google “college scholarships [your state]”, and research your options on the Web. Because scholarship programs are created and ended often, there is no one best source for scholarship information. Your school’s guidance counselor is also a great resource for finding information about state-specific scholarships.

Here’s a sampling of state-specific scholarship programs in each state (requirements vary):

  • Massachusetts: MASSGrant, Paul Tsongas Scholarship, Foster Child Grant Program
  • Connecticut: Connecticut Capitol Scholarship, Connecticut Veterans Tuition Waiver, Connecticut Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver
  • Minnesota: Minnesota Academic Excellence Scholarship, Minnesota Indian Scholarship, Minnesota State Grant
  • New Jersey: NJ Stars, New Jersey World Trade Center Scholarship, Urban Scholars Awards
  • Illinois: Illinois Future Teacher Corps Program, Illinois Nurse Educator Scholarship, Illinois MIA/POW Scholarship
  • New Hampshire: Scholarships for Orphans of Veterans, Granite State Scholars, Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships
  • North Dakota: North Dakota Scholars Program, North Dakota Indian Scholarships, North Dakota Career & Technical Education Scholarships
  • Virginia: The Lee-Jackson Foundation Scholarships, Granville P. Meade Scholarship, Virginia Commonwealth Award Program
  • South Dakota: South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship, Dakota Corps Scholarship, Board of Regents Endowed Scholarships
  • Iowa: Iowa Opportunity Scholarship, Gear Up Iowa Scholarships, Robert D. Blue Scholarship
  • Wisconsin: Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship, EMPOWER Scholarships, Roma Lodge Merit Scholarships
  • Vermont: The Don and Peg Arnold Scholarship, The Alfred T. Granger Student Art Fund Scholarships, The Nordic Educational Trust Scholarship
  • Colorado: The Boettcher Scholarship, CollegeINVEST Opportunity Scholarship, Alexander Foundation Scholarships
  • Missouri: A+ Scholarships, Missouri Higher Education Academic Scholarship Program, William L. Clay Scholarship
  • Michigan: GEAR UP Michigan Scholarship, Michigan Competitive Scholarship, Circle Michigan Scholarship
  • Kansas: The Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship, the James B. Pearson Scholarship, Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarships
  • Georgia: Georgia HOPE Scholarship, the Zell Miller Scholarship Program, HERO Scholarship Program
  • Indiana: The Frank O’Bannon Grant Program, 21st Century Scholars Program, Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship
  • Florida: Bright Futures Scholarship Program, Brecht Scholarship, Mary Ellen Burnett Scholarship
  • Nebraska: ACE Plus Scholarship Program, Access College Early Scholarship, William Ray Judah Scholarship
  • Wyoming: Douvas Memorial Scholarship, Hathaway Scholarship Program, County Commissioners’ Scholarships
  • Kentucky: Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship, Mary Jo Young Scholarship, Teacher Scholarship Program
  • New York: NYS World Trade Center Scholarship, NYS Scholarship for Academic Excellence, NYS Memorial Scholarships
  • North Carolina: Aubrey Lee Brooks Scholarship Program, John B. McLendon Scholarship, People Helping People Public University Scholarship Program
  • Oregon: Oregon Opportunity Grant, Chaffee Education and Training Grant, Dorothy Campbell Memorial Scholarship
  • Maryland: Maryland Delegate Scholarship, Maryland Senatorial Scholarship, Howard P. Rawlings Guaranteed Access Grant
  • Washington: American Indian Endowed Scholarship, Washington State College Bound Scholarship, Washington State Opportunity Scholarship
  • Idaho: Tschudy Family Scholarship, Idaho Governor’s Cup, Idaho Opportunity Scholarship
  • South Carolina: South Carolina HOPE Scholarship, LIFE Scholarship, Archibald Rutledge Scholarship
  • Hawaii: Regents Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, Second Century Scholarship
  • Tennessee: Tennessee HOPE Scholarship, Tennessee Aspire Award, Tennessee General Assembly Merit Scholarship
  • California: California Alumni Association Scholarships, Regent’s and Chancellor’s Scholarships, Cal Opportunity Scholarship
  • Ohio: Ohio EPA Scholarship, Ohio War Orphans Scholarship, Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund
  • Arizona: Wilma Hoyal-Maxine Chilton Memorial Scholarship, American Legion Auxiliary Department of Arizona Scholarships, Phoenix Chapter 67 Scholarship
  • Pennsylvania: York County Dollars for Scholars Program, Philadelphia Scholars Last Dollar Scholarship, Crawford Heritage Community Foundation Scholarships
  • Oklahoma: Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships, Academic Scholars Program, Regional University Baccalaureate Scholarships
  • Rhode Island: Academic Promise Scholarship, Johnston Lions Armand Muto Scholarship, J. D. Edsal Scholarship
  • Montana: Best and Brightest Program, Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program, Horatio Alger Association Scholarships
  • Alaska: Alaska Performance Scholarship, APS Collegiate Award, AlaskAdvantage Education Grant
  • Mississippi: Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant, Nissan Scholarship, Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers and Firemen Scholarship
  • Arkansas: Academic Challenge Scholarships, Ellen Carpenter HBCU Scholarship, Governor’s Scholars Program
  • Utah: Utah New Century Scholarship Program, Utah Regents Scholarship, Henry & Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship
  • Texas: Kenneth H Ashworth Fellowship Program, Top 10% Scholarship Program, Allen Meyer Family Scholarship
  • Nevada: Governor Guinn Millennium Scholarship Program, The Frank M. Doyle Foundation Scholarship, Bruce Fishkin Scholarship Fund
  • New Mexico: Lottery Success Scholarships, Legislative Endowment Scholarship, New Mexico Scholars Program
  • Delaware: Charles L. Hebner Memorial Scholarship, Diamond State Scholarship, B. Bradford Barnes Memorial Scholarship
  • District of Columbia: District of Columbia Adoption Scholarship, Lighthouse Guild Scholarships, Perlita Liwanag Memorial Scholarship
  • Louisiana: Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship, TOPS Honors Award, Taylor Opportunity Program for Students
  • Maine: Guy P. Gannett Scholarship Fund, Lighthouse Guild Scholarships, Nell Goff Memorial Scholarship
  • Alabama: Marie Aron Panhorst Scholarship Fund, Jackson Family Phoenix Fund Scholarship, Herbert M. Christian Scholarship
  • West Virginia: W. P. Black Scholarship Fund, Bernice Pickens Parsons Fund, Jennifer D. Coulter Memorial Scholarship Fund

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Remember, this is only a partial list. Another big issuer of state-specific scholarships are state colleges and universities, which have many of their own school-specific scholarship programs. Online research is likely to reveal hundreds of other scholarships offered within your state, too.

If you’re below your state’s average, you might want to consider signing up for a test prep program, such as Prep Expert.

Prep Expert’s Expert Instruction

Prep Expert has a proven record of increasing students’ SAT scores, in many cases by hundreds of points. Our expert instructors offer classes throughout the United States, as well as online.

Prep Expert’s online classes can be watched On Demand, if you’re too busy, or your schedule is too packed to attend a class at the appointed time. We also offer private tutoring, either in-person or online, if you feel you might benefit from some individual attention outside of class.

Our curriculum focuses not only on the content of the test, but also on the test itself, as well as strategies, tips and tricks to ace it. The SAT is a test that rewards hard work, so if you’re willing to put in the effort, master our strategies, and take plenty of practice tests, you’re likely to substantially improve your SAT score.

And, if the SAT is proving to be simply impossible for you, we also offer in-person and online classes/tutoring for the ACT. Many students prefer the ACT, as it is a more straightforward test, focused on content learned in high school, rather than on innate intelligence. The ACT’s Math test is less challenging, too, if the SAT’s two Mathematics sections are proving to be your biggest problems.

Best of luck with your SATs and college application process!



Shaan Patel

Shaan Patel is the founder of Prep Expert Test Preparation, a #1 bestselling SAT & ACT prep author, an MD/MBA student at Yale and USC, and winner of an investment deal with billionaire Mark Cuban on ABC’s Shark Tank. He raised his own SAT score from average to perfect using 100 strategies that we teach in our Prep Expert SAT and ACT courses.