Colleges That Accept Low SAT Scores

Sure, you wish you’d scored better on the SAT. But colleges that accept low SAT scores just might help you pursue your education goals anyway. We’ve rounded up 8 partner schools that may accept SAT scores at or below the 51st percentile. And, some of them may not require SAT scores at all!

List of 8 Colleges for Students with Low SAT Scores

Many students wonder, “What colleges can I get into with my SAT score?” Here’s a start: the following sponsored listings are for colleges that may require a minimum SAT score* at or below the 51st percentile. That’s potentially good news if your score is on the low side.

Plus, some of the below schools are test-optional or don’t require the SAT at all! Keep in mind that colleges consider other factors besides the SAT, so it’s important to make sure the rest of your application measures up, as well. In addition, SAT and other admissions requirements are subject to change.

1. PURDUE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL

MINIMUM SAT SCORE: SAT NOT REQUIRED

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

  • High school diploma, GED, or equivalent
  • Some programs may require an entrance examination

Part of the renowned Purdue University System, Purdue Global offers an online education designed for busy adults. They’re home to online programs across many career-focused areas, including competency-based ExcelTrack™ degree programs that may help you earn your degree on a timeline that’s ideal for you.

Plus, Purdue Global offers a risk-free three-week trial period, so you can see if their unique approach to higher education is your style.

2. LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ONLINE

MINIMUM SAT SCORE: 50% OF ADMITTED STUDENTS HAVE SAT SCORES WITHIN THE 1020-1220 RANGE

SCHOOL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • Official high school transcript
  • ACT, SAT, or CLT scores
  • Admissions essay

Why pursue your education at Liberty University? One of the largest Christian universities in the world, Liberty offers over 550 academic programs across 17 colleges and schools.

Their programs focus on theory, practice, and the Christian faith, with the goal of helping students prepare for rewarding careers.

Liberty’s massive alumni network of over 250,000 students may be a testimony to the university’s far-reaching impact!

3. ASHFORD UNIVERSITY

MINIMUM SAT SCORE: NO SAT SCORES REQUIRED

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

  • High school diploma, GED, or equivalent
  • Must be 22 or older, with possible exceptions
  • Must meet minimum technology requirements

This unique university offers 100%-online degree programs, designed for the adult learner.

You generally must be at least 22 to study at Ashford, and the 60 flexible programs may help you balance your studies with life’s other responsibilities. Plus, since Ashford is dedicated to serving nontraditional learners, the admissions process may consider your potential – not your test scores.

4. AMERICAN INTERCONTINENTAL UNIVERSITY

MINIMUM SAT SCORE: NO SAT SCORES REQUIRED

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

  • High school diploma (or equivalent)
  • Contact Admissions Advisor
  • Completed application

AIU understands the challenges you face in your daily life, which is why their programs are designed to fit into your life. The school offers 24/7 access to your classes online and through a mobile app.

Plus, AIU provides you with a Graduation Team, consisting of four advisors who can help you while you pursue your degree any time you need them.

5. FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY

MINIMUM SAT SCORE: NO SAT SCORES REQUIRED

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS:

  • Completed application and $75 application fee
  • High school diploma (or equivalent)
  • Government-issued photo identification
  • Interview with Admissions Representative

Offering associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in entertainment, media, arts, and technology, Full Sail University offers a creative approach to higher education through immersive, fast-paced, and relevant learning experiences.

Curriculum and coursework is designed to mirror the workflow and collaboration found throughout today’s rapidly evolving industries.

6. COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY – GLOBAL CAMPUS

MINIMUM SAT SCORE: 1000

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS:

The first-time freshmen admissions requirements include:

  • Fewer than 13 transferable college credits
  • SAT score of 1000 (or ACT score of 20)
  • High school GPA of 3.2 or above

Online education is all that CSU-Global does. They strive to provide academically authoritative, career-focused programs in an adaptive environment to help you pursue your goals.

Earning your degree is difficult enough without trying to cram it into your busy schedule. That’s why the flexibility that CSU-Global offers has helped many students juggle real-world responsibilities without disrupting schedules.

7. COLORADO TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY

MINIMUM SAT SCORE: NO SAT SCORES REQUIRED

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS:

Applying to Colorado Technical University includes:

  • Connecting with an Admissions Advisor
  • Completing application
  • Submitting documentation (valid proof of high school graduation or equivalency)

Through innovative technology and experienced faculty, Colorado Technical University strives to provide industry-relevant higher education to a diverse student body population. In addition, the school is committed to your ongoing personal discovery and professional achievement.

8. GRANTHAM UNIVERSITY

MINIMUM SAT SCORE: NO SAT SCORES REQUIRED

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS:

  • Contact Admissions Representatives
  • High school diploma (or equivalent)
  • Funding Plan in place within seven days of Term Start Date
  • Participation and substantive interaction

Founded in 1951 as a way to help veterans improve their lives through higher education, today Grantham offers quality distance learning programs serving a diverse student population.

To this day, the schools strives to establish a level playing field in education and to serve those who want to make a difference. Grantham is dedicated to providing a quality education to students serious about preparing for a brighter future.

Did You Know?

The first SAT was administered in 1926. At the time, the test took just a little over 90 minutes and consisted of 315 questions.

4 Things You Should Know About Applying to Colleges That Accept Low SAT Scores

Getting into college with low SAT scores may be possible – particularly if you focus on schools that may look beyond standardized test scores to get an idea of students’ potential.

Of course, getting a lower-than-average score on the SAT is disappointing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your college goals are out of reach.

1. Can You Still Get Into College With a Low SAT Score?

Your SAT scores may have more weight at some colleges than at others. Contacting a college admissions representative may be a good way to learn more about how your prospective school evaluates applicants.

But there are some schools where your SATs don’t necessarily have to impact admissions decisions at all: test-optional schools.

During recent years, going test-optional has become a bit more popular among colleges and universities that hope to recognize student potential beyond ACT or SAT scores. Applying to test-optional schools may be available to students meeting certain requirements.

For instance, international students or homeschooled students may still need to submit test scores. But if you don’t feel your SAT results reflect the full extent of your academic performance, applying test-optional may be one way to get around a low score.

2. What is Considered a Low SAT Score?

As of 2018 the 51st percentile SAT score is 1060, meaning 51% of test-takers score below 1060. But your percentile is not the only number you need to know.

Check to see if your prospective school publishes a minimum acceptable SAT score or the average SAT score of accepted students. You may also be able to find SAT stats for your target school through the National Center for Education Statistics.

Understanding how your score measures up to your prospective school’s standards should give you a clearer picture of whether or not that particular college may be a realistic prospect.

3. Make Sure Your Application Shines

Whether you’re applying to college with a low SAT score or taking the test-optional route, the rest of your application may matter more than ever.

In fact, some test-optional schools require or recommend addition application materials – like an essay or letters of recommendation – from students who choose not to send test scores. It’s wise to maximize any opportunities during the admissions process to showcase your potential beyond test scores.

4. Don’t Just Look for Colleges That Take Low SAT Scores

Look for the college that feels like your ideal fit. Consider factors like whether the colleges you’re considering are known for your prospective major, what organizations or activities you may be interested in pursuing while in school or whether you want to study on campus or online.

List of 8 Colleges That Accept Low SAT Scores

CollegeSAT Scores Accepted

Purdue University Global

SAT Not Required

Liberty University Online

50% of Students Have SAT Scores Between 1020-1220

Ashford University

SAT Not Required

American Intercontinental University

SAT Not Required

Full Sail University

SAT Not Required

Colorado State University Global Campus

1000

Colorado Technical University

SAT Not Required

Grantham University

SAT Not Required

Finding Colleges That Accept Low SAT Scores

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