The 44 Colleges With the Lowest SAT Scores- Ranked

Applying to college is a nerve-wracking process, but have no fear:

if you want to go to college even with a low SAT score, there is most likely a school for you!

In this article,

I’ll list the colleges with the lowest 25th percentile SAT scores for their admitted students.

The 25th percentile SAT score means that 25% of admitted students to that university scored at or below that number; the 75th percentile SAT score means that 75% of admitted students scored at or below that score (25% scored higher).

I’ll also explain why their low SAT criterion doesn’t necessarily mean the university is bad.

Schools Listed in Ascending Order of 25th/75th Percentile with Admission Rate

I compiled this comprehensive list through online research. I chose to list it in ascending order by 25th percentile score (rather than the 75th percentile score) so that you could see the lowest scores allowed for admission to these universities.

These scores are from data for the current version of the SAT, which is out of 1600


School Name

25th Percentile SAT Score

75th Percentile SAT Score

Admission Rate

Grambling State University
410 490 43%

University of West Georgia
430 510 59%

Fort Valley State University
430 700 44%

Idaho State University
450 570 99%

Mount Mercy University
500 590 63%

Arkansas Tech University
500 620 90%

Wiley College
640 1020 40%

Central State University
710 880 57%

Bethune-Cookman University
710 880 54%

Lane College
720 860 60%

Jarvis Christian College
720 880 54%

Rust College
730 890 52%

Medgar Evers College (City University of New York)
730 910 100%

Paul Quinn College
730 950 54%

Paine College
740 930 32%

Albany State University
750 900 91%

Wesley College
750 1050 61%

Livingstone College
755 920 37%

Langston University
760 1040 54%

Nebraska Christian College
760 1060 34%

Shaw University
760 935 53%

Pine Manor College
770 970 41%

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
770 1030 46%

Virginia Union University
780 970 57%

Wilberforce University
780 980 48%

Claflin University
780 1130 41%

Harris-Stowe State University
790 960 56%

Edward Waters College
790 970 61%

Universidad del Este
790 1030 66%

Finlandia University
790 1040 38%

Piedmont International University
790 1070 36%

Gallaudet University
790 1080 57%

University of Louisiana at Monroe
800 880 72%

LeMoyne-Owen College
800 930 100%

CSU Dominguez Hills
800 990 77%

Bennett College
800 1000 96%

Silver Lake College of the Holy Family
800 1210 50%

Sul Ross State University
805 1020 100%

Johnson C. Smith University
810 980 46%

Kentucky State University
810 990 45%

Chowan University
810 1000 55%

Calumet College of St. Joseph
810 1010 34%

Albertus Magnus College
810 1050 58%

Pontifical College Josephinum
810 1290 92%

Why Do These Colleges Have Low SAT Scores for Admits? Is It a Bad Thing?

There are many reasons these schools may have lower SAT score requirements. Many of the schools on this list are

specialty schools,

such as religious or art schools. These specialty schools

often prioritize other admission criteria, such as artistic talent or religious faith, over the SAT.

For example,

Pontifical College Josephinum

says, “Application for admission to the Pontifical College Josephinum is made only after the individual obtains sponsorship from his diocese or religious community.”

In a particularly unique example,

Gallaudet University prioritizes the education of deaf and hard-of-hearing students

, although select hearing students who know ASL may be admitted.

You may notice that a lot of these schools have a

large gap between the 25th to 75th percentile (some nearly as wide as 500 points).

Students with scores near the 25th percentile may be admitted for special reasons such as

being the child of a significant donor

, a legacy, an athlete, or an exceptional talent (such as a world-class pianist).

Another possible explanation for the wide range of scores is that since most of these schools have such high admissions rate, they need to accept a wider range of students to fill up their classes. Some of these schools take almost every student who applies and, thus, have wider ranges of scores.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing that these schools have lower SAT requirements.

It may simply mean that the school is prioritizing other admissions criteria or that the school is opening their school to a wider range of students.

Many other colleges

, including prestigious schools like Bryn Mawr, Wake Forest, and George Washington University, are no longer requiring the SAT for admission. This decision doesn’t mean that these aren’t excellent colleges; they just no longer think the SAT is the best criteria for admission to their university.



some of the schools on the list above are not very academically rigorous

. If you’re looking for an intellectually challenging school, you may want to look elsewhere.

Even worse, there are schools out there that simply exist to make money, and

innocent students end up stuck with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt

. While for-profit schools are usually the worst offenders, some non-profit universities also have lower education quality and

leave students with few job prospects after graduation


Be wary and do your research when considering where to apply to college

. When selecting colleges to apply to, you should instead consider whether the college is your best fit, asking questions such as:

  • Does it have the major you want to pursue? Have students in your major ended up with careers in their chosen field?
  • Is it in a big or small town?
  • What is the student body size?
  • What percentage of students are working or attending graduate school after graduation? How many are unemployed?

To figure out what school is right for you,

check out our guide to choosing a college


What’s Next?

Trying to raise your SAT score?

Check out

our ultimate study guide


Not sure where you want to go to college?

Check out

our guide to finding your target school.

Thinking about getting a job while in high school?

Check out our guide to

the 8 best jobs for teens

and learn how to find yours!

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