Because every high school has its unique curriculum and calculates GPA differently, SAT is one of the more objective measures for colleges to evaluate a student’s academic performance. However, how much SAT matters when it comes to college admissions remains debatable especially after many prestigious schools such as UChicago and NYU made SAT scores optional when filling out applications. Many parents and students are still very curious about the average SAT scores of admitted applicants, so here’s a list that tells you exactly that!
Why do some schools make SAT scores optional, and how will that affect students?
Alex explained the reasoning behind the decision to make SAT and ACT test scores optional in a YouTube video. You can watch it here:
Schools with the highest average SAT scores (composite):
|California Institute of Technology (Caltech)||780||790||1560|
|University of Chicago||770||780||1540|
|Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering||750||770||1520|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)||750||780||1520|
|Harvey Mudd College||740||780||1510|
|Johns Hopkins University||750||760||1510|
|University of Pennsylvania||750||760||1510|
|Washington University in St. Louis||760||770||1510|
|Carnegie Mellon University||740||760||1490|
|University of Notre Dame||740||750||1490|
How Much Does Average Score Matter?
Frankly, not so much. Keep in mind that these numbers are the “average composite scores” instead of minimum cutoff, meaning the score is not required if you want to apply to the school. A better way to chance yourself is to look at the 25th and 75th percentiles of admitted student statistics because they would give you a better picture of what the middle half of admitted applicants look like.
Are These the “Hardest Schools” to Get into?
Again, not really. Obviously most the schools above are extremely selective, usually with an acceptance rate around or below 10%. But there are also schools that are difficult to get in simply because they do not accept many students. Olin College, for instance, has a total undergraduate enrollment of 350. Every year, the school only accepts around 100 applicants because its programs are very engineering focused. Same thing goes for most liberal arts colleges on the list such as Harvey Mudd College and Webb Institute; the latter even only has 100 undergraduate students in total!
There are many components in a stellar application. SAT is an important one but it’s not everything. Therefore, use this list as a reference and be sure to look at the big picture instead of the average SAT score.