Top Colleges and Their Scores: SAT, ACT, and Average GPA

As parents and students are adapting and getting well-adjusted to the new academic school year, the race towards achieving high marks on their SAT, ACT, and GPA begin as well.

With that in mind, what defines a "top score" for the SAT and ACT? What about GPA scores? We thought that today's blog post would be a great introduction for students and parents to begin thinking about the necessary scores that they will need to acquire in order to be admitted into some of the most distinguished colleges and universities. If your child or student is not

Read on to find more about SAT, ACT and GPA scores for top US schools nationally!

SAT, ACT, and GPA scores are designed to help universities with a standard benchmark to assess each individual applicant amongst the college's current students. With this baseline, schools are able to determine whether a student candidate is capable of managing the present academic rigor at their college-campuses.

As competition gradually increases and the number of student applicants with progressively intriguing backgrounds rise, the SAT, ACT and GPA remain as the top three components universities use for admission assessment.

SAT Scores

In California alone, high school students showed increased scores on the 2018 SAT college entrance exam. California students taking the 2018 SAT examination had average scores of 540 for reading and writing and 536 for math. According to the test sponsor College Board, that was an increase from the previous year's scores of 531 for reading and writing and 524 for math.

Considering the constant growth of SAT results, we have compiled a list below of the top 10 national colleges, according to US News. Included are their corresponding average scores on the SAT:

  1. Princeton University: 1500

  2. Harvard University: 1520

  3. Columbia University: 1515

  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 1528

  5. University of Chicago: 1530

  6. Yale University: 1505

  7. Stanford University: 1465

  8. Duke University: 1485

  9. University of Pennsylvania:1490

  10. Johns Hopkins University: 1520

ACT Scores

Similarly, we see an upward trend with the ACT examination. While the ACT results and scores have remained relatively stable in the past year, there has been a rise in students taking the test over the past decade.

Keeping this in mind along with other remarkable contestants applying to the same colleges, we emphasize the importance of improving your ACT score.

Below is the list of the top 10 national colleges, according to US News. Included are their corresponding average scores on the ACT:

  1. Princeton University: 33

  2. Harvard University: 34

  3. Columbia University: 34

  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 34

  5. University of Chicago: 34

  6. Yale University: 34

  7. Stanford University: 33

  8. Duke University: 33

  9. University of Pennsylvania: 33

  10. Johns Hopkins University: 34


"...high school graduates who finished from 1998 to 2016, the average high school GPA went up from 3.27 to 3.38."

According to an Inside Higher Ed article, GPA scores have been growing considerably along with the SAT and ACT scores. More specifically, a crucial discovery that "high school graduates who finished from 1998 to 2016, [saw] average high school GPA went up from 3.27 to 3.38".

Staying successful and maintaining grades and GPA scores are more valuable than ever, as evaluating similar candidates for college admission becomes increasingly difficult every year. Let's not forget that if your child is hoping to apply for an early admission program, GPA results must remain stable and reflective of their academic rigor. (See our previous article on early admission options here!)

The list below is the top 10 national colleges, according to US News. Included are their corresponding average GPA scores:

  1. Princeton University: 3.9

  2. Harvard University: 4.1

  3. Columbia University: 4.14

  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 4.16

  5. University of Chicago: 4.29

  6. Yale University: 4.12

  7. Stanford University: 3.95

  8. Duke University: 4.08

  9. University of Pennsylvania: 3.93

  10. Johns Hopkins University: 3.9

A good thing to note for parents is that although SAT, ACT, and GPA scores are highly regarded as some of the top elements in college admission evaluations, the importance of extracurriculars and active leadership in addition to these test results is crucial. Moreover, it is important to think about other various aspects on where your child should attend college - see our old post for some pointers and questions you should be asking yourself.

7EDU Impact Academy offers many college preparation services including one-on-ones, counseling, and specific courses. Feel free to contact us at (408) 216-9109 or if you have any questions or comments.

We hope you enjoyed today's read and don't forget to join us tomorrow (August 23rd) on our live webinar Consulting Jun at 5:30 PM PST. The guest speaker and topic of discussion will be posted on tomorrow's blog - so be sure to tune in to tomorrow's reading!

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