What Is a Good ACT Score for Scholarships?

What’s a Good ACT Score for Scholarships?

The short answer? In many cases, above 30 is a good ACT score for scholarships.

The Long Answer

Ah, good for you, reading on! The long answer to this question is: which scholarship? At which school? Scoring above 30 puts you in the 90th percentile of ACT test-takers, which means that you’ve scored better than 90 out of every 100 students who take the exam (click to read more on ACT scores and score percentiles). 30+ is a great score, but scholarships can be available for students scoring in the mid-20s or even lower—it just depends on which scholarships you’re applying for.

Actually, you may be surprised at how much money you can get for those ACT points! We did a study of scholarships based on ACT scores, and here’s a sampling of what we found from across the ACT score spectrum.

Scholarships Available for Various ACT Scores

ACT ScoreScholarshipAmount Per YearFor More Information...
14+The AIEF [American Indian Education Foundation] Undergraduate Scholarship Program$2,000The AIEF Undergraduate Scholarship Program
15+King's Daughters Health Foundation Health Career Scholarship$2,500King's Daughters Health Foundation Health Career Scholarship
20+The Full Impact Foundation Scholarship Award$2,000The Full Impact Foundation Scholarship Award
21+CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program$18,000CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program
24+Catch a Break! Scholarship Program$40,000Catch a Break
25+Bright Futures Scholarship75-100% of in-state tuition for Florida students at Florida public universitiesBright Futures Scholarship
27+OCCACC Scholarship$20,000OCCACC Scholarship
29+ExxonMobil/LNESC Scholarship$20,000ExxonMobil/LNESC Scholarship
31+UM Missoula Presidential Leadership Scholarship$37,492UM Missoula Presidential Leadership Scholarship
32+University of Georgia Foundation Fellowship$19,458University of Georgia Foundation Fellowship

Big Caveat: Many of these scholarships have other qualifying criteria that you have to meet to receive them. These range from the common (state residency is a big one!) to the uncommon (uh…ever considered working for the CIA?).

Liam got a 35 on the ACT. Get a higher ACT score with Magoosh.

Also, keep in mind that an ACT score isn’t always just one ACT score. Some scholarships will want to see particular subsection scores above certain points. For example, engineering scholarships may want your science scores to be in the top ten percentile (which is actually a 27), but not care so much about your scores on the English test. This varies so much by field, scholarship, and school, that you’ll definitely want to take a look at websites to make sure you’re eligible.

How Much?

Ah, down to brass tacks! It really depends. At Indiana University, you could get a couple hundred dollars—or a couple thousand, depending on your field of study, where you’re from, and your competition. Other schools might offer full rides: Baylor offers up to $41,996 a year (!) –that’s for a 36. Don’t be discouraged if you’re not rockin’ it Good Will Hunting style, though: even with a 29, you could be eligible for up to $37,996 a year at that same institution. At Emory University, with admissions rates at only 26%, a 31 on the ACT can still get you a $21,345 scholarship.

There are also a fair number of scholarships that you’ll get automatically with certain scores—that is, if you remember to apply! At Southeast Missouri State University, a 33 can get you free tuition and fees when you have a 3.9 GPA and are taking at least 30 credits. Granted, that’s tough; but that’s also a huge amount of money.

Even if you don’t think you’re eligible for scholarships, it doesn’t hurt to check…and double-check. With a GPA of 3.0 and a 24 ACT score (remember, the average is 21), you could still get up to $7,000 a year at Oklahoma State University. Get that score even higher—above 30—and you can get up to $12,500 a year.

A Final Note

Remember, scholarships—and average test scores—are changing all the time, so do your research before you spend hours writing a personal statement only to find that you’ve applied for funding only available to students from Togo studying Underwater Basket Weaving (unless you ARE a student from Togo studying Underwater Basket Weaving, in which case…congratulations!)

The bottom line is that there’s a lot of money out there, and you may be surprised to find out how much you’re eligible for. At the end of the day, it doesn’t hurt to go for it! Those dollars add up quickly in college, and that ACT score just may make all the difference. If you need more practice to increase your score, check out Magoosh ACT prep.


Need more help?

With Magoosh ACT, you can choose between a live cohorted class with an instructor (which includes all our lessons and practice questions) or access to the self-study option by itself.


  • Rachel Kapelke-Dale

    Rachel is a Magoosh Content Creator. She writes and updates content on our High School and GRE Blogs to ensure students are equipped with the best information during their test prep journey. As a test-prep instructor for more than five years in there different countries, Rachel has helped students around the world prepare for various standardized tests, including the SAT, ACT, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT, and she is one of the authors of our Magoosh ACT Prep Book. Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from Brown University, an MA in Cinematography from the Université de Paris VII, and a Ph.D. in Film Studies from University College London. For over a decade, Rachel has honed her craft as a fiction and memoir writer and public speaker. Her novel, THE BALLERINAS, is forthcoming in December 2021 from St. Martin's Press, while her memoir, GRADUATES IN WONDERLAND, co-written with Jessica Pan, was published in 2014 by Penguin Random House. Her work has appeared in over a dozen online and print publications, including Vanity Fair Hollywood. When she isn't strategically stringing words together at Magoosh, you can find Rachel riding horses or with her nose in a book. Join her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

No comments yet.

Magoosh blog comment policy: To create the best experience for our readers, we will only approve comments that are relevant to the article, general enough to be helpful to other students, concise, and well-written! 😄 Due to the high volume of comments across all of our blogs, we cannot promise that all comments will receive responses from our instructors.

We highly encourage students to help each other out and respond to other students' comments if you can!

If you are a Premium Magoosh student and would like more personalized service from our instructors, you can use the Help tab on the Magoosh dashboard. Thanks!

Leave a Reply