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Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Virginia Tech Admissions: The SAT, ACT Scores and GPA You Need to Get In

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Want to be a, um, HokieBird? Wait, don’t go! The mascot for Virginia Tech may be silly, but it just goes to show you the many facets of the school. Yes, Virginia Tech is known as a research university; yes, it’s also one of six military colleges in the United States; and yes, that really is their mascot. If this combination appeals to you, read on! In this post, we’ll take a look at Virginia Tech admissions, from the acceptance rate and GPA to Virginia Tech SAT scores (and Virginia Tech ACT scores, of course). Let’s do a quick numbers run-down first.

Virginia Tech at a Glance

 

Virginia Tech SAT Scores (composite, middle 50%)1100-1320
Virginia Tech ACT Scores (composite, middle 50%)24-29
Virginia Tech admissions rate (2016)71%
Virginia Tech GPA average (2016)3.9

Are these competitive numbers? Definitely! Are they achievable? Absolutely! Let’s break these down a little further as we take a closer look at Virginia Tech admissions.

Virginia Tech SAT Scores

While composite Virginia Tech SAT scores are in the above table, here’s a breakdown by section:
 

Math560-680
Evidence-Based Reading and Writing540-640

Keep in mind that the SAT is designed so that the average composite score is close to 1000 and the average score per section is close to 500. Virginia Tech’s average SAT scores are definitely higher than this. Boosting your score as much as possible can only help your application. (For some preliminary advice, check out the stories of four students who got the perfect SAT score as well as others who scored really high!)

But if the application is due tomorrow and you’re wondering whether it’s worth even applying to Virginia Tech with a score below 1100, take heart. The numbers above are the middle 50% range for Virginia Tech admitted students. What this means is that 25% of admitted students scored below 1100 on the SAT.

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

Virginia Tech ACT Scores

One big question a lot of students have about Virginia Tech admissions is whether or not the school accepts the ACT. It does! In fact, the Virginia Tech admissions office noted that accepted students had a range of ACT composite scores, from 17 to 36. On the other hand, the middle 50% Virginia Tech ACT scores ranged from 24-29. To put this in context, the average ACT score is 20.8.

What this means for your application to Virginia Tech is that if you’ve scored below average on the exam, it can hurt your chances of getting in. To submit your best application, it’s ideal to have scores that fall within (or surpass) that middle 50% range. (If you’re considering the ACT, you can check out the inspirational stories and advice from students who got the perfect ACT score).

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Virginia Tech Acceptance Rate

Virginia Tech’s acceptance rate is 71%. You may have read elsewhere that it is 73%, but that comes from a different use of the same numbers: it is 73.5% when you exclude early decision applicants. Early decision applicants to Virginia Tech had a much lower acceptance rate, at 47%.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t apply to Virginia Tech early decision? If it’s the only school you really want to attend, you should by all means go ahead—it can make a big difference in your stress levels to know where you’re going to college well before April. However, if you’re on the fence, it’s better to take more time to get great test scores and spend more time on your application.

Virginia Tech GPA Average

Of incoming students in 2016, 95% submitted their GPAs; the Virginia Tech GPA average was 3.9.
Again, though, having a GPA substantially lower than this does not automatically exclude you from admission—Virginia Tech admitted students with GPAs as low as 2.0-2.49. However, if your GPA is in this range, make sure that the rest of your application is awesome. There’s not a lot you can do about your GPA at this point, but you can ensure that your essays, your letters of recommendation, and your test scores are outstanding!

Not sure how to calculate your GPA? You can figure it out with our GPA calculator!

Virginia Tech Freshman Profile

So who is the typical Virginia Tech freshman? If you’re either excited about the military part of Virginia Tech, know that 408 students in the class of 2022 signed up for the Cadet Corps (and if you’re worried about it, know that the rest of the 6,428 entering students did not). The most popular majors were engineering, university studies (an “academic home” for undecided students, students looking at several majors, or those who are preparing to apply to competitive admissions programs), and business. And if you think Virginia Tech students are only from Virginia, think again: students from 42 states, 52 countries, and 3 territories are included in the class of 2022.

Virginia Tech Other Admissions Requirements and Info

Other than your GPA and test score(s), what will you need to apply to Virginia Tech? Well, first of all, note that Virginia Tech uses The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success as its application manager—not the Common App!
Otherwise, Virginia Tech has the following admissions requirements:

  • 18 units of high-school course work
  • 4 units of English
  • 3 units of math (includes algebra I, geometry, and algebra II)
  • 2 units of laboratory science (chosen from biology, chemistry or physics)
  • 2 units of social science (one must be history)
  • 3 additional academic units (foreign language is highly recommended)
  • 4 elective units

So if you haven’t taken all of those courses, better take a look at your senior year schedule!

FAQ

Does Virginia Tech accept transfer students?

Yes! There is a minimum 2.5 GPA required to apply, but the admissions office notes that candidates with 3.0 GPAs or higher will be more competitive. Transfer students should also have finished or be working on finishing prerequisite courses.

Does Virginia Tech accept international students?

Absolutely—as you can see above, Virginia Tech students come from all around the world. However, if English is not your native language, you will also have to take the TOEFL, IETLS, or the PTE.

How to Get Into Virginia Tech

As we’ve seen, Virginia Tech SAT scores, ACT scores, and GPA average are all highly competitive—but students with scores or GPAs below average still do get into the school. It’s important to note, though, that these students are unlikely to have both low GPAs and low test scores. Instead, it’s more likely that they were strong in one area and less strong in another.

According to Alphonso Garrett Jr., Director of Undergraduate Diversity Recruitment Initiatives at Virginia Tech, you need a genuine reason for wanting to go to Virgina Tech in addition to academic achievement:

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“My biggest piece of advice for students hoping to gain an offer of admission to Virginia Tech can be broken down into two parts: 1. try your best in the classroom, and 2. be your authentic self.

At Virginia Tech, as is the case with most colleges and universities whose demand exceeds space available, the most competitive candidates will present a strong mix of As and Bs in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. I encourage students to try their best and select courses in school that will challenge them and are designed to be college preparatory. This does not necessarily mean taking every advanced level course available, but to find balance in rigor and success.

Academic preparation is very important, but more important is for students to be their true selves. Often times I see applicants try to fit into what they anticipate an admissions committee may desire. However, what we care to see is the true story and context of an applicant. The applicants can share these stories through responses to our essay questions.

There are four required writing components. Each essay is designed to gather insight on applicants and gain more information about their potential for success. Applicants should carefully think out their responses and address the topics presented. These are not essays that can be repurposed from an English class for example. Each response is limited to 120 words, so short concise responses are expected.”

So how to get into Virginia Tech? Work on the elements of your application that you can control, polish the application as much as you can, and have compelling reasons why you want to attend the school. Good luck!

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About Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Rachel is a High School and Graduate Exams blogger at Magoosh. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and a PhD from University College London. She has taught test preparation and consulted on admissions practices for over eight years. Currently, Rachel divides her time between the US and London. Follow Rachel on Twitter, or learn more about her writing here!


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