24 Popular Colleges That Accept Low ACT Scores

Quesbook
Admissions Advice
Apr 15th 2017

Didn’t do as great as you’d hoped on the ACT?! Don’t fret. We’ve put together a list of popular colleges that accept low ACT scores and don't sacrifice on education or programs.

Nobody ever said taking standardized tests is easy. In fact, taking these tests can be downright stressful! If you didn't do as well as you had intended on the ACT, don't fret. You can still get into college. And the best news of all? You can still get into a wealth of great schools! Maybe you're tired of hearing it, but you are way more than a test score when it comes to the college admissions selection process.

For all you awesome students out there, we've rolled up our sleeves and did some work to put together a list of popular universities that accept low ACT scores of at least 20.

But first. How do we define "popular?"

With the help of UniRank, we've selected schools based on how much love they're getting online; we're living in a digital world after all! Basically, the more students surfing the school site or sharing links with their friends, the higher their rank. Make sense?

Without further ado, let's check out this list and get you into an awesome school!

Top 24 Popular Colleges That Accept Low ACT Scores

1. University of North Texas

The University of North Texas has a campus located near Dallas and Fort Worth. In 2017, it was ranked in 2017's Best Colleges – National Universities (Tier 2). It boasts over 100 undergraduate majors to choose from as well as over 300 student organizations to fill your free time. It's College of Music brings in over thousand performances each year!

UNT ACT Scores:

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 26

Average ACT: 23

Admissions Rate: 61% / Average GPA: 3.41

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2. Utah State University

Utah State University is in Logan, Utah. Its most popular major is Liberal Arts and Humanities, followed by Communication Disorders and Economics - just three of their 168 undergraduate majors! The "Aggies" are in NCAA Division 1-A with 16 varsity sports teams. More than 200 student-run clubs are available, including Aggies for Africa, the clogging club, and the Polynesian Student Union.

USU ACT Scores:

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 26

Average ACT: 23

Admissions Rate: 98% / Average GPA: 3.46

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3. San Jose State University

San Jose University is located in San Jose, California. Part of the California State University (CSU) system, it boasts of being the oldest public higher education school on the entire West Coast of the U.S. A new student recreation and aquatic center is currently in the planning stages, but in the meantime, it has an Olympic sized pool for students to take advantage of.

SJSU ACT Scores:

25th Percentile: 19

75th Percentile: 36

Average ACT: 28

Admissions Rate: 64% / Average GPA: 3.31

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4. San Francisco State University

Located in San Francisco, California, "We Make Things Happen" is this university's slogan. SFSU has three bachelor's degree areas in the arts, music, and sciences. It has a busy urban campus with 30,000 students! SFSU is proud of its "student-centered" environment in which it provides a myriad of support services from disability assistance to child care.

SFSU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 19

75th Percentile: 24

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 60% / Average GPA: 3.2

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5. Portland State University

Portland State University is located in downtown Portland, Oregon. About 20 years ago, PSU decided to make the community a classroom partner by having students and faculty take theories and put them into practice working with community government, businesses and others to solve regional problems. The mission has only grown and strengthened over the years. PSU has over 200 undergraduate programs to choose from.

PDX ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 19

75th Percentile: 25

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 89% / Average GPA: 3.37

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6. Kent State University

Kent State University is located in Kent, Ohio. Kent State is one of the largest universities in Ohio with an enrollment of approximately 41,000 students in the eight-campus system, the main campus being Kent. The Carnegie Foundation reported that it is of the the top 76 in community interaction, 77th in public research in the United States, and one of the top 76 in community engagement. Fancy a skate? Well, KSU also has its own ice arena!

KSU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 23

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 55% / Average GPA: 3.22

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7. Cal State Fullerton

Cal State Fullerton is located in Fullerton, California, in sunny Orange County. It boasts an excellent arts program, which proudly states it's the major cultural contributor to the university and in Orange County as a whole. Enrollment is nearly 41,000, with Forbes ranking CSUF at 351 and U.S. News and World Report at 202.

CSUF ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 19

75th Percentile: 24

Average ACT: 21

Admissions Rate: 48% / Average GPA: 3.48

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8. Wayne State University

Wayne State University is located in Detroit, Michigan in the heart of the city. It has over 400 student organizations. Nearly 28,000 students, aka, 28,000 Warriors, come from nearly every area of the United States and fly in from 60 countries. It boasts being the most diverse student body among Michigan's 15 public universities. Not bad!

WSU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 19

75th Percentile: 26

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 76% / Average GPA: 3.22

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9. The University Of Tennessee At Martin

The University of Tennessee at Martin (Tennessee) boasts a winning baseball team and nearly 6500 students. It is situated in a rural setting on a whopping 930 acres. U.S. News and World Report ranked UTM at #47 in the Regional Universities South category and #29 in the Best Colleges for Veterans.

UTM ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 25

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 66% / Average GPA: 3.44

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10. Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University, located in the university town of DeKalb, Illinois, is a public research university. NIU is one of only two public universities in the state that plays in the National Collegiate Athletic Association as the Huskies, and at the highest levels of all sports, Division I.

NIU ACT Scores

25th Percentile:19

75th Percentile: 22

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 52% / Average GPA: 3.15

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11. University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the East End close to Lake Michigan. It is part of the University of Wisconsin System. UWM is a leader in Urban Studies. "Diversity is not a number or a quota at UWM." As an urban commuter campus it has over a dozen special institutes and ethnic studies centers emphasizing various ethnic diversities.

UWM ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 19

75th Percentile: 24

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 88% / Average GPA: 3.05

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12. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University is located in Flagstaff, Arizona, and has several hundred student organizations that all follow the same manuals and other procedures in order to ensure effective diversity procedures. USA Today ranked NAU 4th in Best Small College Towns with 30,000 students and 151 degree programs.

NAU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 25

Average ACT: 23

Admissions Rate: 91% / Average GPA: 3.4

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13. Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University is located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It has no less than 90 study abroad programs and the Broncos have 6 men's sports teams to the women's 9, competing in NCAA Division 1. WMU hosts the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies and also has one of the latest aviation programs in the U.S.

WMU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 25

Average ACT: 23

Admissions Rate: 83% / Average GPA: 3.32

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14. University of Texas Arlington

University of Texas Arlington is located in Arlington, in North Texas. It is a growing Carnegie Research-1 university. It has nearly 57,000 students and over 180 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. U.S. News & World Report recently acknowledged UTA as having the second-lowest average student debt among U.S. universities they interviewed.

UTA ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 26

Average ACT: 23

Admissions Rate: 60% / Average GPA: 3.37

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15. University of Missouri Kansas City

The University of Missouri Kansas City is located in Kansas City, Missouri and has its School of Medicine founded in 1971. It also has 14 schools and departments and approximately 17,000 students. In 2016, plans to expand its metropolitan footprint were announced with the construction of a downtown Campus for the Arts, located near the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

UMKC ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 27

Average ACT: 24

Admissions Rate: 65% / Average GPA: 3.31

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16. CSU Long Beach

CSU Long Beach is located in Long Beach, California. In size, the university has the third largest campus in the 23-school California State University (CSU) system and is one of the largest universities in California with enrollment at approximately 38,000. Recently, its engineering students prepared a car to show at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.

CSULB ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 25

Average ACT: 21

Admissions Rate: 35% / Average GPA: 3.5

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17. New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. NMSU is a NASA Space Grant College, and is home to the very first Honors College in New Mexico. In 2016, NMSU was acknowledged to be top tier university on the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges for 2016 National Universities rankings.

NMSU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 18

75th Percentile: 24

Average ACT: 21

Admissions Rate: 85% / Average GPA: 3.39

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18. IUPUI

The Indiana University--Purdue University Indianapolis is located in Indianapolis, Indiana. This unique university system was formed when Indiana University (IU) and Purdue University (PU) merged their Indianapolis campuses, winning accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission back in 1969. Today, over 350 degrees and professional programs are offered from both universities at this campus.

IUPUI ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 19

75th Percentile: 25

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 70% / Average GPA: 3.33

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19. University Of Nevada Las Vegas

The University of Nevada Las Vegas is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV, as it is most commonly known, boasts of being an excellent athletics university with the Red Rebels leading the way. There are more than 350 degrees to choose from, and athletes succeed in academics as well as their sport(s). Nearly 75% of students benefit from loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.

UNLV ACT Scores

25th Percentile:18

75th Percentile: 25

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 78% / Average GPA: 3.25

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20. Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University is located in Starkville, Mississippi. It has a rich history as a national land grant college in the 1870s when it was known as The Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi (or Mississippi A&M). Mississippi State, and the city of Starkville host the"Bulldog Bash," the largest outdoor concert in the state of Mississippi. Approximately 20,000 students are enrolled at MSU.

MSU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 27

Average ACT: 26

Admissions Rate: 69% / Average GPA: 3.62

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21. Liberty University

Liberty University is located in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is a Christian university well known for its online classes and degrees and an extensive program for veterans in the U.S. The university website says that its 250 degree programs offered on campus in Lynchburg are offered equally online. Some degree of Christianity is intertwined within each course.

LU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 19

75th Percentile: 26

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 21% / Average GPA: 3.34

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22. California State Sacramento

Commonly known as Cal State, this university is located in California's capital of Sacramento. It has seven academic colleges, with 58 undergraduate majors. Carrying the distinction of being a Tree Campus, the campus has 300 acres with 3,500 trees.

CSUS ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 17

75th Percentile: 23

Average ACT: 20

Admissions Rate: 71% / Average GPA: 3.25

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23. Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University, located in Boca Raton, Florida, has approximately 33,000 students. There are 180 different degree programs in Science, Engineering, Business, and Medicine, to name a few. It has 19 athletic teams and is an NCAA Division C university.

FAU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 24

Average ACT: 23

Admissions Rate: 48% / Average GPA: 3.46

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24. Ball State University

Ball State University is located in Muncie, Indiana. The Princeton Review named the university "one of the best in the Midwest." It offers 190 majors along with hundreds of leadership and team-building clubs and organizations. The university is home to the David Letterman Communication and Media Building. Letterman is an Indiana native and alumni of Ball State.

BSU ACT Scores

25th Percentile: 20

75th Percentile: 24

Average ACT: 22

Admissions Rate: 61% / Average GPA: 3.42

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Safety, Match, and Reach Schools

In regards to college admissions, there is never a "guarantee." But, you can use your ACT scores as a way to compare yourself with the typical applicants. Here is our quick guide on determining your safety, match, and reach schools

Safety School: You are higher than 50% of the average ACT scores and fit in the upper 25% if you include GPA and activities.

Match School: You are within a point or two from the average ACT score. Your additional qualifications meet or exceed most other applicants.

Reach School:  You are near the bottom or even below 50% of the average score. GPA and activities play a big role in boosting your chances of admission.

Get More College Admissions Tips

Remember, your chances of admission are actually a combination of your high school GPA, standardized test scores, your essay and letters of recommendation, as well as your activities. View more college admissions tips to boost your chances of admission!

Are you getting ready to go to one of these universities? Let us know why you think it's great by commenting below!