Top Colleges That Still Require Test Scores

SAT and ACT scores have historically been key to the college admissions process — but that’s changing quickly.

Recently, more schools have adopted test-optional or test-blind admissions policies, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic temporarily shutting down testing sites. In fact, now more than 1,800 schools no longer require applicants to submit scores, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, a nonprofit advocacy group commonly known as FairTest.

However, some top colleges and universities — as ranked by U.S. News — still require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores.

The lists below of schools that still require test scores include the top 10 among National Universities, schools that offer a full range of undergraduate majors plus master’s and doctoral programs, and the top six among National Liberal Arts Colleges, which emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in a liberal arts field. Only six ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges out of 210 ranked said they required test scores.

These schools were identified in an annual U.S. News survey based on self-reported data submitted in the spring and summer of 2022 for the U.S. News 2022-2023 Best Colleges rankings.

[Read: When to Take the SAT, ACT.]

Eleven of the 16 highest-ranking colleges with testing requirements are public. Three schools are service academies and two are historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs.

Tied at No. 29 in the overall rankings, the University of Florida is the highest-ranked public National University on the list, while the United States Naval Academy in Maryland is the highest-ranked public National Liberal Arts College, tied at No. 6 overall.

The school with the highest “middle 50” — the range of scores between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile for the last admitted class — for SAT and ACT scores among National Universities on the list is the No. 2 ranked Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with scores in that range at 1510-1580 and 34-36, respectively. Tied at No. 127 overall, Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students, has the lowest range among National Universities for both tests: 765-1157 and 14-20.

Note that the SAT has a top score of 1,600, while a perfect score on the ACT is 36.

Of the National Liberal Arts Colleges listed, the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York has the highest “middle 50” — 1200-1440 and 28-33 — slightly above the Naval Academy’s score range. The lowest “middle 50” on the National Liberal Arts Colleges list is Tougaloo College in Mississippi: 790-1090 and 16-21. Tougaloo, an HBCU, is tied at No. 151 among all ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges.

[READ: When and How to Cancel Your SAT, ACT Scores.]

Florida is home to five schools on the lists, followed by two in both Georgia and Washington, D.C. The rest are located in Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York and Tennessee. Beginning in fall 2023, the University of Tennessee system school system will require all students to submit their SAT or ACT scores.

Below are the 16 schools, in descending rank order beginning with National Universities and followed by National Liberal Arts Colleges. These lists may not include higher-ranked colleges that changed testing policies during or after data collection. Be sure to consult each college’s website for more information about admissions policies.

Schools That Require Applicants Submit SAT or ACT Scores

National Universities

School (State) “Middle 50” SAT Scores “Middle 50” ACT Scores U.S. News Rank and Category
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1510-1580 34-36 2, National Universities
Georgetown University (DC) 1410-1550 32-35 22 (tie), National Universities
University of Florida 1300-1470 29-33 29 (tie), National Universities
Georgia Institute of Technology 1360-1540 31-35 44 (tie), National Universities
University of Georgia 1270-1450 29-33 49 (tie), National Universities
Florida State University 1180-1340 26-30 55 (tie), National Universities
University of Tennessee, Knoxville 1170-1340 25-31 115 (tie), National Universities
Gallaudet University (DC) 765-1157 14-20 127 (tie), National Universities
University of Central Florida 1170-1350 25-30 137 (tie), National Universities
Florida International University 1060-1240 21-27 151 (tie), National Universities

National Liberal Arts Colleges

School (State) “Middle 50” SAT Scores “Middle 50” ACT Scores U.S. News Rank and Category
United States Naval Academy (MD) 1200-1420 26-32 6 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
United States Military Academy at West Point (NY) 1200-1440 28-33 9 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
United States Air Force Academy (CO) 1208-1490 29-34 18 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
New College of Florida 1120-1340 23-29 76 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Fisk University (TN) 1060-1360 19-26 151 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges
Tougaloo College (MS) 790-1090 16-21 151 (tie), National Liberal Arts Colleges

Don’t see your school in these top 16? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find complete rankings and much more. Sign up for the U.S. News Extra Help: College Admissions free email newsletter to receive expert advice twice a month.

U.S. News surveyed more than 1,850 colleges and universities for our 2022-2023 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News produces lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data comes from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’ rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools or Best Online Programs. The SAT/ACT data above is correct as of Oct. 20, 2022.

More from U.S. News

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