Wondering which colleges require you to send all your ACT scores when you apply? We have a list here of the most popular schools that require all scores, as well as a guide to looking up this information for any school in the country. Read on to learn which colleges want to see your entire ACT testing history.
UPDATE: Test Requirement Changes Due to COVID-19
As a result of the continuing coronavirus pandemic, many colleges have dropped their test score requirement for the 2022/2023 admissions cycles and others have gone permanently test optional. This means that, for these schools, you don’t need to submit any ACT or SAT scores with your application. You can still submit test scores if you have them, and they’ll still be considered, but they’re not required.
Although most haven’t stated it outright on their websites, some schools that previously required all ACT scores are now accepting only one ACT score or none at all, even if you took the exam multiple times. As always though, it’s best to contact a school directly to be sure you’re correctly following their guidelines. Additionally, for some schools these changes are temporary, and they plan to reinstate their testing requirement by 2026 at the latest.
What to Know Before You Send ACT Scores
Many colleges still 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, such as 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 so they can see your range. But frequently this is so they can superscore your ACT–meaning that they’ll take your highest composite score, or create their own composite with your highest section scores. Other colleges are fine with you just sending scores from one ACT test date.
While most colleges are fine with receiving just one set of ACT scores, there are many—including some high-profile schools—that require your entire testing history. We will reveal them below.
Which Schools Require all ACT Scores?
There is no comprehensive list from ACT, Inc. of all the colleges that require all ACT scores (unlike the College Board, which provides a list of all the colleges requiring all SAT scores).
However, schools will say on their admissions websites whether they require all ACT scores, usually quite clearly. If they don’t require all scores, they’ll just give the usual spiel about either being test optional or requiring at least one SAT or ACT score per application.
We were able to put together this guide by researching admissions sites of various colleges and universities. In terms of methodology, we looked up the most popular/top-tier schools from our SAT all scores list to see whether they also require all ACT scores (hint: many of them do!).
From our research, we found that schools that didn’t require all SAT scores never required all ACT scores either. Even more interesting, some of the schools that require all SAT scores do not require all ACT scores (as one might assume)—we’ll list some of those below, too.
Anytime admissions websites weren’t clear, we called admissions offices directly to confirm the school’s ACT score policy. By doing this, we were able to come up with a list of several high-profile schools that require all ACT scores.
Sometimes just dialing up an admissions officer is the easiest way to get info about a college’s ACT policy.
Colleges That Require You to Send all ACT Scores
It’s time for the list! Below are some well-known colleges that require applicants to submit all ACT scores with their applications.
If you don’t see a school here but know that they superscore the ACT, there’s a chance they may at the very least encourage you to submit all your scores, so use our steps at the end of the article to find out.
Carnegie Mellon University
“If you choose to submit scores, we’re interested in the general pattern of your scores but will give the most weight to the highest score you’ve received on any of the exams.“
Note that Carnegie Mellon is currently test optional through 2023, but is still interested in the “general pattern” of your scores—i.e., when they went up, when they went down, and what your overall ACT score ranges are. This is typical for schools that require all scores. That being said, the highest score you receive will be given the most weight.
“Georgetown does not participate in Score Choice and requires submission of each applicant’s complete testing record, including all SAT, ACT, and/or SAT Subject test scores. We remain firmly committed to a comprehensive and holistic review of all applications, and test scores are considered in their appropriate context.”
Georgetown explains their all scores policy by saying that having the full testing history allows them to assess applicants across the pool fairly. Even though your highest scores are the ones that will receive the most attention, your lower ACT scores will receive at least some consideration as well.
“When reviewing SAT and ACT scores, we use the highest score from each section across all administrations. We encourage students to report all scores knowing that we will recombine the sections to get the best possible set of scores for each candidate.”
Rice is now test optional, but does still allow first-year and transfer students to submit test scores for review. And as you can see here, even though Rice does not strictly require applicants to send in all ACT scores, they recommend doing so; this way, they can get a better sense of your performance on each section across different test dates.
Syracuse University is on the College Board’s list of schools that require all SAT scores. They also say on their website, “The Admissions Committee will consider the highest score you have achieved on either the SAT or ACT” (bold emphasis mine).
We called and confirmed their ACT score policy since it wasn’t specified on their website. So is it a requirement to send all ACT scores to Syracuse? Here’s what they said:
“Yes, it is a requirement to send all of your [ACT] scores. … You do send all your scores and then we look at the highest scores.”
Even though Syracuse will focus on your highest score, they require you to send all ACT scores. That said, through fall of 2024 at least, Syracuse will be test optional. So if you choose to submit scores, be sure to send them all!
University of Pennsylvania
“Although we permit Score Choice, we encourage students to submit their entire testing history for both ACT and SAT exams.”
It’s worth noting that Penn used to have a much stricter test scores policy. Now, however, it is test optional through 2023, but strongly recommends (but does not require) applicants to submit all ACT scores and SAT scores.
Colleges That Require all SAT Scores but not all ACT Scores
There are a handful of colleges that require all SAT scores but don’t have the same policy for the ACT. Although none of the schools explained—either on their websites or by phone—why their policies are different for the SAT and ACT, we have a couple of guesses.
Our first guess has to do with cost. The SAT does not charge extra money to send additional score dates to a school, whereas the ACT does. While it costs $12 to send all your SAT scores to one college, it costs $16 per test date for each school to do the same with the ACT. This can add up quickly depending on how many times you’ve taken the test. Colleges that are aware of this might have made their ACT policies more lenient as a result.
Not everyone has bags of money to spend on college admissions …
Our second guess is the way the two tests are evaluated. Though many colleges are interested in a student’s highest SAT score on each section (Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing), with the ACT, they often care the most about your overall composite score.
This might be because the ACT’s final composite is evenly balanced between Reading, English, Math, and Science, whereas the SAT’s composite gives half the weight to Math and one-fourth the weight each to Reading and Writing. If a college will be looking at the highest ACT composite score, they’re likely fine with the student just sending that one score. By contrast, for the SAT, they might want to see all sittings of that 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.
George Washington University
George Washington is a test-optional school, so it does not require SAT or ACT scores (though applicants may submit them if desired). However, the school still appears on the College Board’s all scores list for the SAT, suggesting that if you do decide to send SAT scores, you should send all of them.
It was not clear whether this policy applies to the ACT as well, so we called the university and asked whether students who choose to submit ACT scores must send all their scores. We received a short, simple answer: “No, you’re not required to send all your ACT scores.” For GWU, you only have to send your best ACT score (if you choose to submit any at all).
Here’s what I was told by an admissions counselor when I asked whether applicants must send all ACT scores to Pomona:
“We do not require that you submit multiple test scores. We do recommend it because we superscore.”
The fact that Pomona superscores the ACT means they’ll take your highest section scores from different test dates and combine them to make your highest possible composite score. 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.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M is currently on the College Board’s list of schools that require all SAT scores, even though the school is temporarily test optional. But are you required to send all ACT scores? Here’s what they said when we called them:
“You could just send one [set of ACT scores], but it’s not going to hurt you to send multiple scores.”
So while Texas A&M will look at only your highest ACT composite, you can send just one score if you want.
From speaking to an admissions representative at Tufts, we learned that “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 might want to send both dates to Tufts. However, you can also just send the highest composite score if you want to save money!
University of Washington
This is another university that is now test optional, but students can send their scores if they think they’re a good representation of their academic achievement and potential. We called the University of Washington to ask whether they require all ACT scores or not. Here’s what they said:
“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 Find the ACT Score Policy for Any College: 3 Steps
Our list above doesn’t include every single college that requires all ACT scores. So how can you find out whether a school you’re interested in applying to requires your entire ACT testing history? Let’s go through the process together, step by step.
Step 1: Check the College Board List
First, check to see whether the school is on the all SAT scores list. If it is, it’s very likely that it’ll also require all ACT scores. You can still look up the school even if it’s not on the list. Just note that it’s probable that if a school doesn’t require all SAT scores, neither will it require all ACT scores.
For example, say you’re searching for the ACT score policy at Amherst College. The school does not appear on the list of schools that require all SAT scores, so you don’t expect them to require all ACT scores either. But how can you be sure?
Step 2: Look at the School’s Official Website
Next, go to the school’s undergraduate admissions website to find the first-year application requirements page. (You can just search “[School Name] first year/freshmen admission” to look this up quickly.) This page will list the standardized testing required to apply. Many all-test-scores schools will specify their policies here.
Here’s what I got when I searched for “Amherst college first year admission”:
Click on the link to your school’s official application requirements page. On Amherst’s “First-Year Applicants” page, there’s a section about standardized test results that looks like this:
Amherst recommends that applicants submit all test results. Since the school doesn’t say “require,” it looks like you can send your best ACT score. It’s still a good idea to check another page just to make sure, though.
Step 3: Confirm With the School’s Testing Policies or FAQ Page
If there’s nothing on Score Choice or all scores on your school’s “First-Year Requirements” page, find a Testing Policies or FAQ page to see whether there’s any more info about it. Here are some questions to look out for on an FAQ page:
- Do you accept SAT Score Choice?
- Do you superscore the SAT/ACT
- Can I submit the ACT/SAT more than once?
- How many times should I take the ACT/SAT?
We couldn’t find anything related to testing requirements on Amherst’s FAQ pages, but I did find a dedicated “Standardized Testing Policy” page, which says the following on test scores:
Here, Amherst says that “applicants are free to use the SAT Score Choice and the ACT option” for sending in scores from multiple test dates. Given that Amherst is not on the SAT all scores list and doesn’t seem strict about how many test scores it receives, it’s safe to conclude that Amherst does not require all ACT scores.
If there’s no FAQ page or score policy page you can find, contact the school’s admissions office by phone or email. The admissions office contact information is often listed at the bottom of the website.
Be sure to 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 this follow-up question to confirm: “So I’m required to send all of my ACT scores to [School Name]?”
If they so no, then ask this follow-up: “So if I send just one of my ACT scores, that meets your standardized testing requirement?”
Once you get your answer, don’t forget to thank them for their time or ask any other questions you might have about the application process.
The Workaround: Deleting an ACT Score Date
To recap, we’ve discovered that it’s fairly rare for a college to require all ACT scores, especially since so many schools have become test optional as a result of Covid. That said, some popular schools, such as Georgetown, do require all your ACT scores if you choose to submit any.
Even though many schools will superscore, which means that submitting all your scores could work to your advantage, there are some good reasons to not want to send all of your ACT scores, especially to competitive schools.
The first is cost. As previously mentioned, ACT, Inc. charges you per score date and per school to send your ACT scores. So if you took the ACT three times, you’d have to pay $48 just to send your scores to one all-scores school. If you’re applying to multiple colleges, these costs can add up quickly.
The second reason to avoid sending all of your ACT scores is competitiveness. If you have a low composite score from one test date, it could damage your chances of getting accepted to a competitive school. This is particularly true for schools that state they want to see students’ full testing range.
All in all, if you really don’t want to send all your ACT scores and you’ve got one score date that’s decidedly better than your other ones (meaning the composite is higher and most, if not all, of the subscores are higher), it’s a good idea to keep the high score and delete the other ones.
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 help you net thousands of dollars in scholarship money? See our list of automatic scholarships for high ACT scores for more information.
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!
Want to improve your ACT score by 4 points?
Check out our best-in-class online ACT prep program. We guarantee your money back if you don’t improve your ACT score by 4 points or more.
Our program is entirely online, and it customizes your prep program to your strengths and weaknesses. We also have expert instructors who can grade every one of your practice ACT essays, giving feedback on how to improve your score.
Check out our 5-day free trial: