What Is A Good ACT Score For Scholarships?

What Is A Good ACT Score For Scholarships?

If you’re a high school student preparing to apply for college, you’ve likely heard about the importance of standardized test scores such as the ACT. Good ACT scores can open up opportunities for college admissions and, most importantly, scholarships. But what constitutes a good ACT score for scholarships?

This article will explore the intricacies of the ACT scoring system, discuss what scores you should aim for, and provide tips for increasing your chances of earning scholarships.

Understanding ACT Scores

ACT Scoring System

The ACT is a standardized test to assess a student’s readiness for college. The test consists of four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each section is scored on a scale of 1 to 36; the overall composite score is the average of these four scores.

Average ACT Scores

The average ACT score for U.S. high school students is around 21. However, this average score may not be sufficient for securing scholarships. To qualify for scholarships, a higher ACT score is generally necessary.


ACT scores are also measured in percentiles, which indicate how well you performed compared to other test-takers. A higher percentile means you scored better than a larger percentage of your peers. For instance, if your ACT score is 90th percentile, you scored above 90% of test-takers.

Scholarship Opportunities

Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit-based scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional academic or extracurricular achievements. High ACT scores can significantly increase your chances of obtaining these scholarships.

Need-Based Scholarships

Need-based scholarships consider financial needs in addition to academic performance. While your ACT score may not be the deciding factor, a strong score can still enhance your eligibility.

School-Specific Scholarships

Many colleges and universities offer scholarships based on ACT scores. Researching the requirements of your preferred schools can give you an idea of the scores necessary for scholarship consideration.

Good ACT Scores for Scholarships

General Scholarships

An ACT score of 25 or higher is often sufficient for general scholarships. This score places you above the national average and in a competitive position for scholarship opportunities.

Competitive Scholarships

For more competitive scholarships, you may need to aim for a score of 30 or above. This puts you in the top 10% of test-takers and makes you a more attractive candidate for scholarships with stricter eligibility requirements.

State-Funded Scholarships

State-funded scholarships often have specific ACT score requirements. You’ll need to meet or exceed the minimum score set by your state’s scholarship program to qualify.

Boosting Your ACT Score

Preparing For The Test

To improve your ACT score, it’s essential to start preparing early. Use official ACT practice tests and study materials to become familiar with the test format and content. This will help you identify areas where you need to improve.

Improving Your Test-Taking Strategies

Developing effective test-taking strategies can significantly impact your ACT score. Focus on time management, recognize common question types, and practice eliminating incorrect answer choices.

Seeking Professional Assistance

If you’re struggling with specific sections of the ACT, consider seeking professional help. Tutoring, test prep courses, and other resources can provide personalized assistance to help you overcome your weaknesses and boost your score.

Other Factors for Scholarships

Extracurricular Activities

In addition to your ACT score, scholarships often consider your extracurricular involvement. Participate in clubs, sports, or other activities that showcase your skills, interests, and dedication.

Community Service

Many scholarships value students who are engaged in their communities. Volunteering and participating in community service projects can demonstrate your commitment to making a positive impact.

Leadership Skills

Scholarship committees often look for students who exhibit strong leadership qualities. Taking on leadership roles in school or community organizations can increase your chances of receiving scholarships.

Notes On What Is A Good ACT Score For Scholarships

While there is no definitive answer to what constitutes a good ACT score for scholarships, aiming for a score of 25 or higher can put you in a competitive position. For more competitive scholarships, consider aiming for a score of 30 or above. However, it’s crucial to remember that your ACT score is just one factor in scholarship eligibility. Strengthen your application by focusing on extracurricular activities, community service, and leadership skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the highest possible ACT score?

The highest possible ACT score is 36, a perfect score in each of the four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science.

2. How do I know if my ACT score is good for scholarships?

Research the requirements of the scholarships you are interested in and the average scores of successful applicants. This can help you determine whether your score is competitive.

3. Can I retake the ACT to improve my score?

Yes, you can retake the ACT to try and achieve a higher score. Many students see score improvements after retaking the test.

4. How important are extracurricular activities for scholarship eligibility?

Extracurricular activities play a significant role in scholarship eligibility, as they demonstrate your interests, skills, and dedication outside of academics.

5. Are there scholarships available for students with lower ACT scores?

Yes, there are scholarships available for students with lower ACT scores. Some scholarships consider financial needs, community involvement, leadership skills, and test scores.

If you are interested in more articles like this, here’s one about what scholarships you can apply for.

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