What Colleges Can She Get in with These Scores?

Updated on October 14, 2016
N.A. asks from Westborough, MA
19 answers

With a SAT superscore of 1990 (1920 and 1900 she took the test 2times) and ACT scores of 28,27,29 what are my child's chances of getting into public colleges like UMass Amherst and other umass schools. She wants to get into science/enginnering field. Also what are her chances at private schools. Pls advise. This is my first child.

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So What Happened?

I didn't mention her GPA in my first post. Sorry for that.
Her GPA. Weightedis 3.8. Unweighted is 3.0
She does volunteer in couple of places and has total of 200hrs so far. Last year she did fundraising for $1000 too. She is a member in science fair club and National Honors Society.

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answers from San Francisco on

She (and you) should be speaking with her counselor about this.
There is also a website called Google (go to google.com) that will help you.
Since we don't know her GPA or any of her other activities how could we possibly help?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

May I suggest going to http://www.petersons.com, which is an on-line guide to colleges.


May I suggest going to http://www.petersons.com, which is an on-line guide to colleges.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

ETA: the prepscholar link below is a great example of how compiler services like this mess up the score info. UMass has always accepted only the reading and math scores (they ignored writing) so their scale has always been out of 1600, which is noted. But then in the breakdown of old to new, they scaled down the old average 1200 range score by 1/3 to get 890 or something ridiculous. The average is still about 1200, or 600 on each section. Bottom line? Check with the school websites.

Original:As a senior applying to schools now, she should have taken the new SAT, which is based on a range of 1600. Did she not take that last spring? Are those scores from fall of junior year? Her class is the first to take the new test. Anyway...

Those are very good scores for UMass Amherst. Those scores would actually be in the range for Wentworth, BU and Northeastern, if her GPA is comparable. If her GPA is in the same percentile range as her SAT scores, she may be a candidate for the UMass honors program. She should also look at UMass Boston - even through they don't have dorms, they offer very attractive scholarship packages and kids live off campus nearby. I have two friends whose very bright students got full scholarships to UMass Boston but smaller packages to UMass Amherst.

About 50% of what the schools will look at is her GPA, with the remaining 50% split evenly between standardized test scores and the rest of her transcript (extra-curriculars, employment, volunteer work, essay, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Each college's website has an admission page that lists the SAT and ACT score range of the middle 50% of students admitted last year. The college board's website compiles this as well but isn't always as accurate as the school's website.

That said...if you really are in Westborough, they have an excellent school system and have no doubt been giving information to students and parents about college planning for the past couple of years, and your child should have had at least one or two meetings with her guidance counselor already. If for some reason you didn't attend any of the workshops, read any of the handouts, use Naviance or whatever other college tools that they offer, etc. then connect with the guidance office on Tuesday so that you can catch up. There's lots of info readily available and while you're a bit behind in planning and research, you can catch up quickly and get this process on track. It's a stressful process so start a binder or something where you can store all of the info you need. Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Again, this is another area your high school counselors can help with.

There's more to college admission than the test scores and GPA. Colleges also take into consideration the college essays, community involvement, school involvement and more.

What does your daughter want to do? This is the 2nd question regarding things you are doing for her when she should be taking the initiative on her future in college. You are there to guide and support but not do the work for her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Buffalo on

I don't know much about scores and school requirements...but I will share this...my graduate school admission test scores were actually pretty bad...I was working full time and didn't review anything ahead of time. They were going to deny admission to me (it was a prestigious university). But, my boss wrote them a letter and they let me in. I got very good grades. Tests aren't everything and usually with a little follow through, you can get in.
I know another family whose kid was rejected from another university. The parents went and spoke with them and they let her in.
I think they all know test scores are only part of the picture. I think the real question is how were their overall grades in school?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

Colleges and Universities all have their own guidelines. The guidance counselor at the school should have this information, and she can also go to the University websites to search for or request undergrad admissions information. (Back in my day, we had to request paper info packets via snail mail and wait for them, by gum! lol)

If her grades are also good, I think she'll have her pick of schools in general. Some of them have non-academic admissions requirements overall, and some for particular fields of study. For example, my goddaughter's top pick school had a volunteer hours requirement for her chosen field. It doesn't mean that a non-volunteer would has no chance to get in, but when compared to someone with identical academic credentials + volunteering, they won't be the first choice. She will definitely need the details for each school she is considering and the area of study within the school.

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answers from Chicago on

My older son had an ACT composite of 29, GPA 3.86, and several AP courses and got some excellent academic scholarship offers from about 9 schools, public and private. Overall, the private schools offered more aid. In the end, my son was offered an academic and athletic scholarship that covered almost his entire tuition for 4 years at a super expensive school in Chicago. Does she do sports? My son had a female friend basically with the same stats as he had, and she got full ride offers from several schools due to them offering so much for female athletes. If your girl is wanting to get into STEM, that is an added bonus with the push to get females into those fields. Good luck to her!

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answers from Miami on

I think that the SAT scores are better than the ACT scores (don't get me wrong - 29 is a really nice score, but it's not a 33...). So focus on the SAT scores.

Her grades and the difficulty of her classes are key. She will need stellar grades. If she just takes regular classes, that won't impress the schools. Is she in an AP or IB program? She needs activities and leadership positions at school, and extracurricularly as well.

Her college essay will be really important. She should start writing on it now. There are websites she can go to and find examples of good essays. Tell her to pay attention to the word limits because these admissions people have to read a lot of essays - none of them want to read 2000 words...

You may find that the more expensive private colleges offer better scholarships than the universities. That was the case with my son. Have you taken her to see a lot of places? It's important for her to see large, small, medium sized, rural, urban, public universities and private colleges. The more she sees, hears and experiences, the more likely she will end up going to the RIGHT school, not just a "prestigious" school. The right fit for your daughter is more important than anything. If it's a bad fit, she will be miserable.

I did all of this with my older son. He was offered honors college at one really great school and I was pretty sure he'd accept it. However, spending a weekend on the campus really changed his mind. No one was friendly. I mean it - no one. We were in the midwest and had visited several schools in the midwest and the rest of them weren't like that, so I was really surprised. He ended up not choosing that school. The one he went to was the one he felt the most comfortable with all around - the feeling he had being around the people on the campus, the academics they offered, the extracurriculars, etc. The proof in the pudding for me that he had made the best choice for HIM was on his graduation day. I asked him if he was as happy with his choice of school that day as the day he received his acceptance. His answer was MORE. I was so happy about that! As a parent, I got lucky because not only did he have a wonderful college career, but this also happened to be the school that offered him the biggest scholarship.

It's getting pretty late in the game for you both to be visiting colleges - I hope you did a lot of it her junior year. But try to make sure that you aren't missing the forest for the trees. It's not just about the "name" of the school. It's about if it will be a good fit for her.

Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You can just google the school along with "average SAT scores" and all the stats will be listed. GPA and extracurricular activities with leadership positions and volunteering are also critical factors that schools look at when making decisions on who to accept and offer scholarship money to. Best of luck.


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answers from Springfield on

Those are pretty good ACT Scores. There should be many, many schools that would accept her.

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answers from St. Louis on

Google the schools she wants to go to and check out their requirements.

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answers from Norfolk on

They changed SAT scoring last March.
It use to be the highest score you could get was 2400.
After the change last March the highest score is 1600.
So, your daughter took the SAT under the old scoring method - they won't combine old and new.

Here is a list of top 100 colleges and what SAT scores they look for:


Google what schools are looking for in the ACT scores.

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answers from Boston on

You need to work with the high school guidance counselor, and you need to learn that colleges look for a whole bunch of different things, not just test scores. They look at activity resumes (which your child will work on in high school with guidance, just as she will be working with her English teacher on her essay), recommendations and other factors. You can also go to the Umass website (not just for Amherst, but for Umass/Lowell, Umass/Dartmouth and other schools in the system) as well as, say, Worcester State and Framingham State. They will show you their requirements as well as the average scores/ranges for their freshman classes. Requirements/averages vary within the system so it's not the same, say, for Amherst as it is for Dartmouth.

Try to breathe, try to get some background info, and try to see that there is a college out there for EVERY CHILD. That goes for state schools as well as private colleges. You can set up some tours for the school breaks and even on weekends if she is staying close to home. Try to look at a variety of schools - large/medium/small, city/suburban/rural, and so forth.

She doesn't need to have a career choice or major determined at this point. She can look for a school with a varied program and ideally one that doesn't require her to select a major until the end of her sophomore year. She can (and should) sample some courses in different fields/disciplines to see what interests her.

It seems that you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself to make decisions for her. You should call her guidance counselor and find out when they will be setting appointments for parent/child to discuss these very issues. You will get help in determining what schools are a "stretch" for her based on academics/test scores, which are a good fit, and which are "safety" schools where she's very likely to gain admission. You choose a mix of the 3, set a realistic goal/budget for applying to a certain number, learn the due dates, and then set up tours even if some of the tours are after the applications are due.

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answers from Atlanta on

you need to contact your daughter's school counselor and you need to go to those schools websites and see what their admissions requirements are.

that's how you find out if she'll be able to get in to a university.

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answers from Washington DC on

All of the information you seek can be found on the college board web site. If she is interested in a specific college, go online to their website. The information is there.
The college board has all kinds of information about colleges all over the nation - you just need to surf and research. Finding a college is more than numbers.
You might also consider sitting down with your daughter and her guidance counselor. The counselors know what the colleges want.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Well, my ACT scores were all around 20. My math was a 7. I got in both University of Central OK and Oklahoma State University. Your child's test scores are pretty good so I'd think she could pretty much go where she wanted as far as state schools or even special ones that are a bit more elitist.



answers from Phoenix on

college confidential is the blog site for you. every college question imagined has been asked, and discussed and answered there. there is one thread there "best college for the jewish b student" that is thousands of pages long the has so much information and helpful hints (most aren't jewish but the grades/scores you provided fit the mold of that topic) collegeconfidential.com



answers from Chicago on

In the science field, her options are endless, especially because she is a female. I know a couple colleges that only require a 2 year associates degree that will guarantee a high paying career in the Nuclear field.

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