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Which Colleges Require All ACT Scores Sent?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Jul 10, 2015 8:30:00 AM

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Not all colleges want their mailboxes stuffed with multiple ACT score reports.

Wondering which colleges require you to send all of your ACT scores to apply?

We have a list here of the most popular schools that require all scores, as well as a guide to looking this info up for any school in the country. Read on to learn which schools will want to see your entire ACT testing history.


What to Know Before You Send ACT Scores

Nearly all colleges require you to send either SAT scores or ACT scores as part of your application. But colleges differ on how they handle multiple sets of scores – for example, two sets of ACT scores.

Some colleges require you to send your entire ACT testing record if you took the ACT more than once, even if that means sending some not-so-great scores. Other colleges are fine with you just sending one ACT score date.

While the majority of colleges are fine with receiving just one ACT score date, there are many – including some high profile schools – that require your entire testing history. We will reveal them below.


So Which Schools Require All ACT Scores?

There is no comprehensive list from the ACT of all the colleges that require all ACT scores, unlike College Board.

However, colleges will say on their admissions sites if they require all ACT scores – usually quite clearly. If they don't require all scores, they will just give the usual spiel about requiring at least one SAT or ACT score per application.

We were able to put together this guide by researching the information on the admissions sites of various colleges and universities. In some cases, we also called the admissions offices to clarify information.



We looked up the most popular/top-tier schools on the SAT’s “All Scores” list to see if they also require all ACT scores. Many of them do.

From research, we found that schools that didn’t require all SAT scores never required all ACT Scores either. In fact, some of the schools that require all SAT scores don’t require all ACT scores, and we will list some of those below too.

If the websites weren’t clear, we called admissions offices to confirm their ACT score policy. By doing this, we were able to come up with a list of more than a dozen high profile schools that require all ACT scores.


body_phone-1.jpgSometimes just dialing up an admissions officer is the easiest way to get info about a college's ACT policy.


We will also include a guide below for how to look this info up at any college. This way you can see if any school you want to apply to also requires all ACT scores.



Colleges That Require You to Send All ACT Scores


Barnard College

“We expect students to submit all of their scores, and we will use the best of those scores in our evaluation. We have always practiced the spirit of score choice, but we prefer to see a student's full testing history.”

Barnard College, an all-women’s school associated with Columbia University, requires all ACT scores for admission. It’s worth noting that this is a stricter policy than Columbia itself has.


Carnegie Mellon University

“Applicants are required to submit all official results of either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT with Writing and SAT Subject Tests. While we're interested in the general pattern of your scores, we give most weight to the highest score you've received on any of the exams.”

Note that Carnegie Mellon admits here they are interested in the “general pattern” of your scores – when they went up, when they went down, and what your overall score ranges are. This is typical for schools that require all scores. Still, the highest score you receive will be given the most weight.


Duke University

“Duke requires that students send their full testing record for either the ACT or SAT and SAT Subject exams taken in high school.”

Duke requires two SAT Subject tests in addition to the SAT or ACT. It’s important to note they require your entire testing history for the Subject tests as well – so even though only two are required for admission, if you took more, you have to send all your results.


Georgetown University

“Georgetown University does not participate in the Score Choice option available through the College Board. Georgetown requires that you submit scores from all test sittings of the SAT, ACT, and SAT II Subject Tests.”

Georgetown explains their all scores policy by saying that having the full testing history allows them to assess applicants across the pool fairly. So even though your highest scores are the ones that will receive the most attention, your lower scores will receive at least some consideration as well.


Rice University


“The only definition of a composite score that ACT recognizes is its own definition: an ACT composite is the average of the four multiple-choice scale scores from a single administration of the exam. Therefore, it is Rice’s policy to use the highest ACT composite score in admission consideration.”

I called and clarified that Rice requires all ACT scores since they didn’t state so explicitly on their site like they do for the SAT. Rice does, in fact, require all ACT scores, though they will use your highest composite when they review your file.


Stanford University

"Applicants must self-report and submit all SAT scores and all ACT scores. Applicants may not use the College Board's Score Choice feature or "hide" any scores with either testing agency."

You should note that Stanford requires all ACT scores and all SAT scores – not just one or the other. This is one of the strictest standardized test policies around!


Syracuse University

Syracuse University is on College Board’s list of schools that require all SAT scores. I called and confirmed their ACT score policy since it wasn’t specified on their website.

So it is a requirement to send ACT scores to Syracuse?  “Yes, it is a requirement to send all of your scores...You do send all your scores and then we look at the highest scores.”

So even though Syracuse will focus on your highest score, they require you to send all ACT scores.


University of California System

“In the College Board's Score Choice module, ensure that all scores are sent to UC. We require all scores and will use the highest scores from a single administration. For the ACT Plus Writing test, we will focus on the highest combined score from the same test administration.”

I called and confirmed that this means you have to send all ACT scores as well, even if they will just focus on your highest overall composite. So if you’re interested in any of the UC schools – from Berkeley to UCLA to Davis – be prepared to send in all of your ACT scores for them to review.


University of Miami

“If you take the test more than once, you must send us all of your scores to ensure that we have your best performance on record.”

So while the University of Miami seems committed to just looking at your highest ACT scores, they do require all scores to make sure they know an applicant’s entire testing record.


University of Pennsylvania


Penn requires applicants to submit their entire testing history; we do not participate in Score Choice. If applicants have taken both the SAT and the ACT, they must submit their testing history from both exams..”

Like Stanford, Penn also has a strict standardized test policy: they require all standardized test scores from both the SAT and ACT. Be prepared to send a lot of score reports if you apply to Penn!


Yale University

“If you take the SAT, SAT Subject Tests and/or the ACT, you need to have all of the results reported to Yale.”

Note that Yale’s policy is more lenient that Stanford’s and Penn’s. While they require all SAT scores or all ACT scores, they don’t require both if you took both tests. So you can choose to report either your ACT or SAT results to Yale.


Colleges That Require All SAT Scores But Not All ACT Scores

There are a few colleges that require all SAT scores but don’t have the same policy for the ACT. While none of the schools explained – either on their websites or on the phone – why their policies are different for the SAT and ACT, we have a couple of guesses.

The first guess has to do with cost. While the SAT does not charge extra money to send additional score dates to a school, the ACT does. So while it costs $11.25 to send all of your SAT scores to one college, it could cost $24 or even $36 to do the same with the ACT, depending on how many times you’ve taken the test. Colleges that are aware of this might have made their ACT policies more lenient.



Not everyone has bags of money to spend on college admissions...


Our second guess is the way the tests are evaluated. While many colleges are interested in a student’s highest SAT score on each section (Writing, Critical Reading, and Math), for the ACT, they often care the most about your overall composite. This might be because the ACT’s final composite is evenly balanced between Reading/English and Math/Science, whereas the SAT’s final composite gives Critical Reading and Writing twice as much weight as Math. So if the college is going to end up looking at the highest ACT composite score, they are fine with the student just sending that one score. Whereas for the SAT, they may want to see all sittings of the test so they can compare subsections.

We’ve listed some high profile schools here that require all SAT scores but not all ACT scores to help you decide between the two tests.


Cornell University

“Note that Cornell requires students to submit all scores from SAT tests taken and does not participate in the College Board’s Score Choice.”

However, when I called and talked to an admissions representative, I was told that all ACT scores do not have to be submitted, the policy only applies to the SAT. So for Cornell, feel free to send just your best ACT score.


George Washington University

George Washington, while it appears on College Board’s “all scores” list for the SAT, did not clarify on their website whether that policy applies for the ACT.

So I called and asked if you are required to send all ACT scores to GWU and received a short, simple answer: “No, you’re not required to send all your ACT scores.”

So for GWU, you only have to send your best ACT score.


Pomona College

“We do not require that you submit multiple test scores. We do recommend it because we superscore,” I was told by an admissions counselor when I asked if all ACT scores are required at Pomona.

We should note that Pomona apparently does superscore the ACT – meaning they will take your highest section scores from different test dates and combine that to make your highest possible composite. So if you have two ACT dates that could be superscored into a markedly higher composite, it might be worth it to send both score dates to Pomona.


Scripps College

Are all ACT scores required to be sent to Scripps? “It is not a requirement to send all [ACT] scores… You can send one or two or however many you choose.”


Texas A&M

Are you required to send all ACT scores to Texas A&M? “”You could just send one [ACT Score], but it’s not going to hurt you to send multiple scores.”

So while Texas A&M will look at just your highest ACT composite, you can send just one score if you want.


Tufts University

From speaking to an admissions representative, I learned “It’s not a requirement, but is suggested to send all ACT scores.”

So if you have high section scores spread across two different ACT dates, you may want to send both dates to Tufts. But you can also just send the highest composite score if you want to save money.


University of Washington

I called the University of Washington to ask if they require all ACT scores: “We request you send all scores from the SAT exams. We recommend you send all of your ACT scores. On our website it does not specify that you send all ACT scores, so you can just send one.”


How to Get This Info For Any College

First, check to see if the school is on the “All SAT Scores” list. If it is, it’s much more likely it will also require all ACT scores. You can still look it up if it’s not on the list, but it’s more than likely that if the school doesn’t require all SAT scores, it won’t require all ACT scores either.

Next, go to the undergraduate admissions website and find the “First Year Application Requirements” page. (You can just search "[Name of College/University] first year admission" to look this up quickly.) This page will list the standardized testing they require to apply. Many “all scores” schools specify their policies here.




I'm searching for the ACT score policy at Amherst College. They did not appear on the list of schools that require all SAT scores, so I don't expect them to require all ACT scores either.



On the First Year Applicants page, there is a section about Standardized Test Results. Note that Amherst says they "recommend that you submit all standardized test results." Since they don't say require, it looks like you can just sent your best ACT score. I'll check the FAQ just to make sure.


If there is nothing on score choice versus all scores on the “First Year Requirements” page, find the FAQ page and see if there is a question about it. Relevant questions include “Do you accept SAT score choice,” “Can I submit the ACT/SAT more than once,” “How many times should I take the ACT/SAT,” etc.



This was the closest answer on the FAQ page I could find having to do with sending multiple test results. Note that they say their "policy is to focus on your strongest standardized test results," but don't say anywhere in the answer they expect to receive all of your results. Given that they are not on the SAT All Scores list and they don't seem strict about how many test scores they receive, it looks like Amherst does not require all ACT scores.


If there’s not a FAQ page or a relevant question, contact the admissions office by phone or email. The admissions office contact information is often listed at the very bottom of the website. Ask the following question: “If I take the ACT twice, am I required to send both scores as part of my application?”

If they say yes, ask the follow-up to confirm: “So I’m required to send ALL of my ACT scores to [Name of College]?”

If they so no, ask this follow-up: “So if I send just one of my ACT scores, that meets your standardized testing requirement?”

After that, thank them for their time or ask any other questions you might have about your future application.


The Workaround: Deleting an ACT Score Date

To recap, we have discovered it’s fairly rare for a college to require all ACT scores. That said, some very popular schools – like Stanford, Yale, and Georgetown – do require all of your ACT scores.

There are some good reasons to not want to send all of your ACT scores, especially to competitive schools. The first is cost. The ACT charges you per score date, per school to send your scores. That means if you take the ACT three times, you have to pay $36 ($12 for each test date) just to send your scores to one all-scores school. If you're applying to multiple schools, those costs can add up quickly.

The second is competitiveness. If you have a low composite score from one of your test dates, it might damage your chances of getting in to a competitive school.

So if you really don’t want to send all of your ACT scores, and you have one score date that is decidedly better than your other ones (the composite is higher and most if not all of the subscores are higher), keep the high score, and delete the other ones. Read our guide to deleting ACT scores to find out how.


What’s Next?

Is your ACT score good enough? Learn what an excellent ACT score is for your top-choice schools.

Did you know a high ACT score can also help you net thousands of dollars in scholarships? See our list of automatic scholarships for high ACT scores here.

Studying for an ACT retake? Learn how to stop running out of time on the math and reading sections, and check out our complete guide to ACT science. It’s the best around!


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Halle Edwards
About the Author

Halle Edwards graduated from Stanford University with honors. In high school, she earned 99th percentile ACT scores as well as 99th percentile scores on SAT subject tests. She also took nine AP classes, earning a perfect score of 5 on seven AP tests. As a graduate of a large public high school who tackled the college admission process largely on her own, she is passionate about helping high school students from different backgrounds get the knowledge they need to be successful in the college admissions process.

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