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David Recine

University of Michigan Admissions: The SAT, ACT Scores and GPA You Need to Get In

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Today, we’ll look at how to get into University of Michigan. We’ll take an especially close look at University of Michigan SAT scores, University of Michigan ACT scores, and University of Michigan admissions criteria.

University of Michigan: An Introduction

The University of Michigan is ranked number 28 among national universities in the USA. This puts it in roughly the top 1% of all schools nationwide. U Mich particularly prides itself in the high quality of classroom teaching and is ranked number 6 in the nation for best undergraduate teaching. (Source for these rankings: U.S. News and World Report.)

So how do you get in on the great education the University of Michigan has to offer? Let’s take a quick look at the school’s standards:

  • University of Michigan freshman acceptance rate: 23.5%
  • University of Michigan GPA: 3.88 (average)
  • University of Michigan SAT scores: 1380-1500 (middle 50%)
  • University of Michigan ACT scores: 31-34 (middle 50%)
  • ACT or SAT essay requirement: Yes, you do need to complete the “optional” essay portion of either the ACT or SAT in order to apply for
  • Below, I’ll give you a closer look at how to get into University of Michigan. We’ll explore the finer points of University Michigan SAT scores, University of Michigan ACT scores, and other aspects of how to get into University of Michigan.

    How to Get Into University of Michigan: University of Michigan SAT Scores

    As you saw above, the basic expectation for University of Michigan SAT scores is the 1380-1500 range on the new SAT. However, University of Michigan also publishes its expectations for scores far greater detail than that. Check out the intel in the table below.

    Table 1: University of Michigan SAT Scores (middle 50% of accepted students)

    Type of SAT ScoreNew SAT (whole test)New SAT (Writing/Evidence-Based Reading)New SAT (Math)Old SAT (whole test)Old SAT (Writing/Critical Reading)(Old SAT (Math)
    Score Range (middle 50%)1380-1540680-750700-7901910-2240680-750670-780

    As you may have noticed, these scores are very high, confined within the 95th to 99th SAT score percentiles for the most part.

    But if you’re afraid that you won’t be able to meet this very high middle 50% standard, don’t be. Remember, these scores are just for the middle 50%. You can have scores somewhat below this range and still get accepted. Also bear in mind that University of Michigan has no hard and fast, absolute rule about minimum SAT scores. Don’t get me wrong. You ideally want your score to be very close to the middle 50% or in/above that range. But the University of Michigan will also carefully consider other aspects of your application. Scores alone don’t make or break your chances.

    (Note: The University of Michigan requires SAT scores to be submitted with a writing/essay score. For more information, see the FAQ at the end of this article.)

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    How to Get Into University of Michigan: University of Michigan ACT Scores

    The University of Michigan admissions website also offers more details on ACT scores, posting middle 50% scores for each individual section of the test.

    Table 2: University of Michigan ACT Scores by Section (middle 50%)

    Type of ACT ScoreEnglishReadingMathScienceWhole TestWriting (Essay)
    Score Range (middle 50%)33-3532-3529-3530-3531-348-9

    If you want to make it into the middle 50% of accepted applicants, your composite ACT score percentile will need to be at least 96th. Individual section scores need to be 95th percentile or higher, with the notable exception of ACT Math and ACT Writing. ACT Math can be as low as 93rd percentile and still be in the middle 50%. And the middle 50% for ACT Writing is only in the 82nd-91st percentile range.

    In general, your ACT Writing score is treated differently than your other ACT scores. For more details on how University of Michigan admissions uses ACT Writing scores, see the FAQ at the end of this post.

    Liam got a 35 on the act. Get a higher act score.

    How to Get Into University of Michigan: What You Should Know about the University of Michigan Acceptance Rate

    The University of Michigan’s acceptance rate, as mentioned above, is 23.5% for freshman applicants. But what about transfer applicants?

    Applying as a transfer student improves your odds… greatly! Transfer students have an impressive 39% acceptance rate. So if at first you don’t get into University of Michigan as a freshman applicant, you can start at another school and try, try again.

    How to Get Into University of Michigan: A Closer Look at University of Michigan GPA

    Now that we’ve looked at the transfer student acceptance rate, let’s look at transfer applications and GPA. How does it compare to the freshman expectation of 3.88 GPA?

    If you’re transferring in from a community college or another university, U Mich will hold you to different GPA standards. How to get into University of Michigan as a transfer student? Among other things, meet the school’s minimum transfer GPA requirement of 3.0.

    Whether you’ll apply as a freshman or a transfer student, it’s good to keep track of your GPA. To calculate your GPA for your current school work, use Magoosh’s “How to Calculate Your GPA” guide.

    University of Michigan Freshman Profile

    So what does a typical University of Michigan freshman look like? What are the students like as people, and will you fit in? Read on to get a food look at the University of Michigan freshman profile.

    Ultimately, University of Michigan students are from all over the United States. All 50 states are represented by the University of Michigan undergraduate student body. The states of Illinois, New York, and California send the most out-of-state students to U-Michigan. Together, these three places are the home states to 18.3% of University of Michigan’s bachelor-seeking students. But by far, the biggest state of origin for University of Michigan is Michigan itself. Local students comprise 58.4% of Michigan’s undergraduate student body.

    One thing that’s a little surprising about the University of Michigan’s freshman profile is that U Mich has relatively few international students. Only 7.6% of the University Of Michigan’s undergraduates come from other countries. While this is a low amount by the standards of most top-ranked schools, the international student body is diverse. The University of Michigan’s international students come from 128 different countries!

    How to Get Into University of Michigan: Other University of Michigan Requirements and Info

    We’ve covered University of Michigan SAT scores, University of Michigan ACT scores, and the GPA/acceptance rate for University of Michigan. But what else do you need to know? Below are two additional key facts to consider.

    The University of Michigan Accepts Applications through Two Different Websites

    When you apply to U Mich, you can either use the Common App website or the Coalition App website. For details and links to both websites, see the University of Michigan Admissions Requirements and Deadlines web page.

    University of Michigan Admissions Requires Two Letters of Recommendation

    You’ll need one letter of recommendation from a teacher and one letter of recommendation from either a guidance counselor or teacher. The University of Michigan requires these letters to be submitted online in a specific format. See this University of Michigan admissions web page for details. And before you approach teachers and other high school administrators for references, check out Magoosh’s article on how to ask for a letter of recommendation.

    “Talk to recommenders who know you really well. Always prioritize the quality of the rec over technical things about who it’s coming from (ex: pick a sophomore teacher who knew you really well over a junior teacher whose class you got a better grade in).” — UMich338354 (’21), AdmitSee

    How to Get Into University of Michigan: Write a Topnotch Application essay

    You will need to submit an application essay to University of Michigan admissions. Like your other application materials, this essay can be submitted through the Common App form or through the Coalition App website. Both application systems have very similar essay requirements. So you may find Magoosh’s tutorial on the Common App essay to be helpful in either case.

    Need some pointers on how to write a steller essay for University of Michigan admissions? Lena from Transizion has got your back!

    “UM aims to recruit the ‘most dynamic group of students possible.’ This means that, whatever kind of person or student you are, there is likely a place at UM for you – you just need to figure out the angle in which to approach your application. My advice to you is to aim to present yourself as an overall, well-rounded candidate while trying to stand out in one particular aspect of your application. Mention the “usual achievements” that are expected of any candidate – things like extracurriculars, your love of learning, reasons you want to be at UM – and choose one you excel at to highlight. Stand out, just enough, to catch the admission’s board eye as they slough through thousands of applications.”

    How to Get Into University of Michigan: FAQ

    We’ve covered a lot of ground today. But when it comes to helping you get into University of Michigan, I want to leave no stone unturned. Here is a roundup of other frequently asked questions about how to get into University of Michigan.

    Does University of Michigan admissions require the SAT with writing or the ACT with writing?

    Yes. U Mich is one of the few national universities that require you to do the essay portion of your admissions exam. The middle 50% of University of Michigan ACT scores for ACT Writing is 8-9.

    Middle 50% University of Michigan SAT scores for the essay part of the test are not currently available. However, when I called University of Michigan Admissions to ask them about SAT essay expectations, they told me the middle 50% for SAT writing scores are roughly equivalent to ACT. An ACT Writing range of 8-9 translates to roughly a 5-6 in each of the three components of the SAT essay. (For more information, see Magoosh’s articles on scoring for ACT Writing and the new SAT essay.)

    When I spoke to University of Michigan Admissions, the admissions rep also told me that the essay score is not weighed all that heavily. Composite SAT and ACT scores are much more important to the admissions office. And as always, the overall quality of the application is always the most important thing to University of Michigan admissions.

    Is the University of Michigan an Ivy League school?

    Yes and no.

    The term “Ivy League” is used in two senses. In its narrowest definition, an “Ivy League” university can only be one of the universities that is officially part of the Ivy League collegiate sports conference. (See this Wikipedia articlee for details.)

    However, the term “Ivy League” is popularly used to refer to any university that is of very top quality. With its high national rank (top 1% of universities nationwide), the University of Michigan could be described as “Ivy League” in the popular sense.

    When will University of Michigan Admissions decisions be released?

    As a general rule, Early Admissions Fall applicants to the University of Michigan receive decisions by the end of December. Regular Fall applications receive a response and decision by April. For the most up-to-date information on admissions response timelines, see this page on the University of Michigan Admissions website.

    What is University of Michigan tuition?

    Because University of Michigan is a state school, tuition rates are subject to policy change each year. For the most up-to-date tuition schedules, see the official University of Michigan tuition and fees website.

    How to Get Into University of Michigan: The Takeaway

    The University of Michigan is an excellent public university with many excellent programs. While the expectations for University of Michigan SAT scores and University of Michigan ACT scores are high, U Mich also tries to be fair. A strong overall application will trump any individual scores. Still, it’s a good idea to aim for the highest SAT scores, ACT scores and GPA that you can. An application that is strong in every way can help you wind up on the right side of the University of Michigan’s acceptance rate.

    Improve your SAT or ACT score, guaranteed. Start your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh SAT Prep or your 1 Week Free Trial of Magoosh ACT Prep today!

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    About David Recine

    David is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007 and has worked with students from every continent. Currently, David lives in a small town in the American Upper Midwest. When he’s not teaching or writing, David studies Korean, plays with his son, and takes road trips to Minneapolis to get a taste of city life. Follow David on Google+ and Twitter!


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