<span>Colleges for a 36 ACT</span>

Colleges for a 36 ACT

The ACT is a standardized test taken by high school students throughout the country and consulted by colleges and universities during the application process. Comprised of four sections that test students in reading, English, science, and math, the exam is graded on a scale from 1 to 36, with 36 being the highest attainable score. While each section receives its own score, the composite score is traditionally what colleges care about most, which is rounded up to a whole number. A score of 36 is the highest possible score and indicates that you missed no more than 6 questions throughout the entire 215 question exam.

Is a Score of 36 Good?

The ACT is scored on a scale of 1 to 36 with 36 being the equivalent of a perfect score. As might be expected from such a high score, a 36 makes it possible to apply and be competitive for admission at every college in the country. This includes elite and selective colleges and universities, as well. In addition to attaining the highest score, a 36 generates the largest number of college options to choose from. Simply put, a score of 36 is as good as it gets.

I Want to Go to College, What Do I Do?

After earning the highest possible score on the ACT, you’ve already fulfilled every requirement regarding the standardized test portion of the admissions process. If you’re a junior, focus on your GPA, whether it’s maintaining it or giving it a little bit of a boost to better complement your ACT score. Analyze your choices for college and determine your safety, reach, and match choices. Visit colleges and get your name (and your stellar academic performance) on their radar.

For seniors, focus on all other aspects of the college application process, from the personal essay to the list of after school activities. Dedicate time to composing a persuasive and thoughtful essay and show it to your college counselor for a critique. Be sure to contact a few teachers who made an impact on your high school career and ask for a letter of recommendation, as well.

Because your ACT score exceeds the benchmark for every college, it might make the application process feel more daunting due to the sheer volume of colleges to choose from. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of choices, schedule a meeting with your college counselor. They can help narrow down your list of schools and point you in the direction of a college or university that best fits what you’re looking for.

What College Can I Apply to With a Score of 36?

As the highest possible score on the ACT, a 36 ensures consideration for admission at every college. We’ve put together a sample of schools to consider below. If you don’t see the college you’re looking for on this list, rest assured that they will accept a perfect ACT score as well. Be aware that no score guarantees admission by itself but all of these colleges and universities have a history of admitting students who earn a 36.

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The University of California in Los Angeles, better known as UCLA, is one of 10 campuses in the UC system. With 109 academic departments and more than 125 majors offered, as well as an average of one billion dollars funded for research every year and...

“…I can definitely say that being at UCLA for about a quarter and one half has literally changed me, and my study habits. This school is competitive and tough, in no light manner. At the same time, if you work hard, the rewards are tremendous, and...” – Elizabeth from San Pedro, CA

Harvard College is an undergraduate liberal arts school located in Cambridge, MA, within Harvard University. Founded in 1636, this private, very selective, Ivy League college is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and was...

“…Harvard is an absolutely incredible institution built on the principle of continual learning. Opportunities are endless and every day is a new experience. Worth mentioning: the professors are some of the most talented and prominent in their field. ” – Cat from Cambridge, MA

Stanford University is a research institution located in the California town of the same name. The more than 8,000-acre campus features seven schools, the largest of which is the School of Humanities and Sciences, and 80 residential facilities. With...

“…It is the most productive, accepting, safe, and fun environment I have ever known. I gained a surrogate family in the community and all the students there. I feel incredibly fortunate to have met the people (students, faculty, and staff) I have met...” – Laura from San Fernando, Ca

Founded in 1868, the University of California at Berkeley is the original member of UC System with a campus overlooking the San Francisco Bay. UC Berkeley is known for its liberal student activism, most notably The Free Speech Movement student...

“…UC Berkeley is big, and the number of people can be overwhelming, but there's something for everyone here. The location is great-- downtown Berkeley is just a short walk away, and San Francisco is accessible by bus. Although the classes can be...” – M from NorCal

Founded in 1890, The University of Chicago is a private urban research institution. U of Chicago is home to an undergraduate college noteworthy for establishing the fields of Ecology and Sociology. In addition to classroom facilities, the U of...

“…The Core Curriculum grants students the opportunity to experience the different fields of study and the various departments available. Once you decide which course you want to take for an intended major, there is generally a numerous amount of...” – Gabrielle from Chicago, IL

Founded in 1754, Columbia University is a private research university located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The urban Ivy League campus houses 17 libraries and 20 schools, which offer upwards of 350 majors, as well as the Cathedral of St. John...

“…Columbia University is extremely challenging and therefore extremely rewarding. It does not allow you room to be average or mediocre because it encourages excellence. CU will show you what you are made of.” – Krizia from Fort Bragg, NC

Founded in 1817, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is the state’s oldest university. U of M has very high research activity and is a often referred to as a Public Ivy. The university at Ann Arbor offers upwards of 260 degrees for undergraduates,...

“…Classes here are intense, but doable. GSI's (Graduate Student Instructors) will always be there to help you get through the class and will help address the struggles you may be facing. Office hours are always a possibility to get extra help outside...” – Catherine from NY

Duke University is a selective, private research university that calls Durham, NC, home. Founded originally as Trinity College in 1838, it was renamed by tobacco tycoon James Buchanan Duke in 1924 and became the “Gothic Wonderland” campus it is today...

“…Duke's campus is absolutely beautiful. The professors are great and the academics are very rigorous. Also, school spirit is huge.” – Ariana from Fort Myers, FL

A Public Ivy and space-grant institution, the University of Texas at Austin is one of nine academic universities in the UT system, and also the first. Founded in 1883 and home to 18 schools and colleges, it is one of the largest schools in the US but...

“…I am not only learning a ton inside the classroom, but UT Austin teaches you skills outside academics as well. Professors may be brutal, but they teach you to get your work done on time and with exceptional quality or you'll suffer the consequences....” – Marissa from Burleson, TX

Boston University is a private, non-profit university with a heavy emphasis on research. BU’s main location is right in its name—Boston, MA—but the university has flagship locations around the world, including in London, Sydney, and Washington, DC,...

“…The vast array of courses offered here at Boston University are truly refreshing, and the professors are truly passionate about their courses. The emphasis placed by the professors and the really well structured classes are great. I find myself...” – Michelle from Miami, FL

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an institution in the UNC system and the first public university to confer degrees. A member of the Association of American Universities, UNC Chapel Hill is considered a Public Ivy and houses a...

“…UNC is prestigious for its academic environment. While many lecture classes may easily contain 300+ students, there are plenty of one-on-one opportunities with professors and teaching assistants outside of class. There are also a wide selection of...” – Olivia from Roxboro, NC

Founded in 1746, Princeton University is a private, highly selective, Ivy League, the fourth oldest higher education institution in the nation, and one of the original nine colonial colleges. Princeton features a liberal arts education in the...

“…Princeton is challenging and the content of what we learn is relavent to life. There is no other place I'd rather be. The wealth of networking and level of academics has been worth the work to get here!” – GA

The University of Southern California is a high-research institution located in Los Angeles, California, where it’s been educating students since 1880. The university is comprised of two campuses, the main University Park and the Health Sciences...

“…A wonderful Campus and community for students. Great for meeting people while receiving a great education. I would recommend this college to any person looking for an incredible college experience.” – Devan from Mission Viejo, CA

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university that was founded in 1764. The university offers more than 40 academic departments. The campus is home to program housing for students who share similar interests, plus substance-free,...

“…The perfect word for Brown is nonpareil, as in it is completely unmatched in the world of colleges. I honestly feel that there is such a collection of classes, students, opportunities, and experiences unique to only Brown that makes it special beyond...” – Quinn Li from Canajoharie, NY

Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League institution in Philadelphia. UPenn hosts 12 schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 90 academic fields of study. Additionally, UPenn’s Gothic-style...

“…It definitely lives up to the nickname the social Ivy, but that's not to say the academics are not rigorous. Be prepared to work hard and show dedication to both class and activities. Even though it is in a big city, there is a distinct campus...” – Samantha from Philadelphia, PA

Northwestern University is a 4-year private research institution in the Chicagoland area. Northwestern is home to 12 colleges and schools and is renowned for its Medill School of Journalism, Kellogg School of Management, and Bienen School of Music....

“…the campus is absolutely gorgeous, and all of the professors, secretaries, and students i had met on the trip were wonderful, driven people. hearing about the opportunity that this school gives to it's students allows me to feel a sense of how much...” – jeremy from naperville, il

Originally founded as a land-grant university in 1870, Ohio State University is a public institution in Columbus and the third-largest campus in the nation. OSU confers bachelor’s degrees in over 200 academic fields of study. In addition to classroom...

“…Ohio State was originally the last school I wanted to go to, just because I lived so close and the size was so intimidating. However, after my college tour I fell in love and now it is home. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else and can't imagine going...” – Cameron from Delaware, OH

Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a public institution in central Illinois and the flagship campus of the U of I system. UIUC is home to 15 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 150 areas of...

“…the people on campus - students, professors, counselors - are all extremely welcoming, friendly and helpful, so do not feel intimidated. despite being located in central illinois, there are plenty of things to keep you busy in campus-town and the...” – sophia from glenview, il

The University of Georgia is a land- and sea-grant public research university in Athens, GA. Founded in 1785, University of Georgia is one of three public universities to hold the title of the oldest public university in the US. With 17 different...

“…UGA provides the opportunity, especially for incoming freshman with hours on their side, to take classes that are intriguing and that otherwise you wouldn't be able to take. This gives you a chance to learn about something entirely different from you...” – Courtney from Social Circle, GA

Georgia Institute of Technology, more commonly known as Georgia Tech, is a 4-year research institution offering technology-focused education based out of Atlanta, GA. The institution has a number of instructional sites, including online and physical...

“…Georgia Tech will strain your learning abilities. It is a very competitive school, but also provides you with a great education.” – Chris from Northfield, NJ

Founded in 1925, the University of Miami is a private research institution in south Florida. The U encompasses 11 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 180 fields of study. Away from the classroom, the Miami campus is home to...

“…Even some of the introductory classes are harder than high school classes. If you're in the honors program, you will be challenged by the honors classes, but if you aren't, the second level classes (especially in science) are very challenging.” – Sal from Metairie, LA

A private research institution located in Boston, Northeastern University was founded in 1898. Northeastern is home to nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 90 academic majors. Additionally, the university operates a...

“…Northeastern is an incredible school. The professors truly want to see you succeed, the classes are far more interesting and engaging than I ever imagined they would be, and there is really a sense of community throughout the campus. From the amazing...” – Brooke from Marlton, NJ

Founded in 1787 as the Pittsburgh academy, the University of Pittsburgh is a 4-year state-related research institution. Pitt is composed of 16 colleges and universities granting undergraduate degrees in numerous academic majors and minors. The Pitt...

“…University of Pittsburgh was built in a city of tradition and Culture. I am from Pittsburgh and often feel challenged by the constant mix of people who are all so interesting and the work that I have to complete.I would recommend this school to...” – Joseph from Pittsburgh, PA

Boston College is a 4-year Jesuit Catholic University and the first institution of higher learning founded in the city of Boston. BC is home to eight schools and colleges conferring degrees in over 50 fields of study. As a Catholic university, Boston...

“…BC lives up to its Jesuit ideal in offering a well rounded, liberal arts experience. Small class sizes and engaging professors are essential parts of all classes. BC accepts a great deal of AP and SAT II credits, exempt students from less interesting...” – Andrea from Lake Forest, CA

Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 as a private research university in Nashville, Tennessee. Academically, the university focuses on an interdisciplinary approach,  encouraging students to take courses from any of the 143 areas of study. The...

“…I am currently an incoming freshman, but already from what little experience I have had with the school, I LOVE it! Everyone I have met attending Vanderbilt have all been super nice and the faculty I have had the pleasure to work with all seem to...” – James from Anchorage, AK

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is a public institution in Charlottesville. UVA encompasses 12 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 70 fields of study. For artistically-inclined students, UVA...

“…Being in college in the first place has given me the opportunity to learn many new things about being independent and about life. I have learned many essential things about living on my own-- especially how to make many interesting and creative...” – Emily from Ashburn, VA

Named for a well-known abolitionist and philanthropist, Johns Hopkins University is a private institution in Baltimore and the first research university in the United States. JHU confers degrees and certificates in over 260 academic programs....

“…The curriculum offered at Johns Hopkins University is excellent no matter what major you choose to pursue. The professors are generally approachable and they know their stuff, though some of the mathematics profs might not be able to speak english....” – Anonymous

Emory University is a liberal arts institution located in Atlanta, Georgia, with a second campus in Oxford. The 600-acre campus in the Druid Hills neighborhood is home to four undergraduate and seven graduate colleges, as well as over a dozen...

“…I'm actually a student at Emory's sister school, Oxford College of Emory. The classes are difficult and require a lot of studying outside of the classroom. You will find that students at Oxford are not only learning, but also learning to apply their...” – Urooj from Spring, TX

Originally founded as the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art, Rice University is a 4-year private institution in Houston. Rice encompasses six colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over...

“…The campus is beautiful. It is surrounded by trees around and not visible from the outside, the city. It has lots of trees and luscious, green grass to sit and enjoy nature. ” – Fernando from Houston, TX

Founded in 1960, the University of California of San Diego is a research institution located in La Jolla, CA. The 1,200 coastal woodland campus along the Pacific Ocean is home to six undergraduate colleges, five academic divisions, 5 graduate and...

“…The campus is huge and nice. The academic environment is strict, compared to the free campus environment. The location is pretty great, as it is located in La Jolla, near a beach.” – MiraMesa from San Diego, CA

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, more commonly referred to as MIT, is a private research university that focuses on scientific and technological research. Located on 166 acres of land in Cambridge, MA, MIT maintains five schools hosting 30...

“…MIT is the #1 Engineering school in the nation and perhaps the world. However, even those studying other subjects have come to a University that pushes the limits of time management and, quite plainly, one's genius. This University requires its...” – Aaron from Farmington Hills, MI

George Washington University is a private university maintains three campuses, with the main campus located in Washington, D.C., just four blocks from the White House. George Washington University offers 75 undergraduate majors and 69% of students...

“…The most politically active school in the nation with the best campus of all the universities in DC. If you attend here, I hope you like politics.” – lindsey from las vegas, nv

Founded in 1841 by the Catholic Diocese of New York, Fordham University is a Jesuit institution in New York City and the oldest Catholic university in the northeast. With three campus locations throughout the city, Fordham is home to four...

“…Fordham University is great for both undecided students and students who know exactly what they want to do. The faculty is incredibly helpful and will guide you in whatever direction you choose. Fordham University offers the perfect balance between...” – Jake from Ellenville, NY

University of California in Santa Barbara is a leading research institution in the city and state of the same name. UCSB is a member of the Association of American Universities, home to the National Center for Ecological Analysis, as well as an...

“…You can think of the quarter system as your frenemy; by the time it takes you to get bored of your classes, a new quarter begins. UCSB offers so many interesting classes with so many great professors and you have so many chances to take them....” – Amanda from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

A top-ranked medical program and business school crown Dartmouth College’s liberal arts education. This Ivy League school, the second youngest but also the smallest, is located in Hanover, NH, where it’s easily the main attraction in town. 

The...

“…Dartmouth has some of the most welcoming professors, friendly student, and most comprehensive yet entertaining classes.” – Brian from Cedar Knolls, NJ

Tufts University is a 4-year private institution with three campuses in the Boston area. Tufts is home to 12 colleges and schools conferring bachelor’s degrees in over 90 academic majors and minors. The school is known for their popular a capella...

“…Tufts is a prestigious university dedicated to assuring that its students get the most out of their Tufts education. The staff is extremely helpful and willing to help students for as long as they need. Tufts is highly recommended to any senior and...” – Kay

Carnegie Mellon University is a research institution located in Pittsburgh, PA. Founded by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie in 1900, CMU is labeled the #24 University in the World by Times Higher Education and has been rated #25 in National Universities...

“…CMU is academically rigorous, and somewhat open to interdisciplinary study. If you want to supplement what you're learning in your major, it's likely there is room in your schedule or a unique opportunity for pursuing your broad academic interests.” – R from PITTSBURGH, PA

Founded in 1842 by the friars of the Order of Saint Augustine, Villanova University is a 4-year research institution in the Philadelphia area and the oldest Catholic school in Pennsylvania. Villanova is home to six colleges and schools conferring...

“…Villanova University is one big community where everyone is connected to each other. The faith throughout the campus is overwhelming and beautiful. I could not have wished for a more well-rounded university for me to attend.” – Emily from Wheaton, IL

Established in 1819, Colgate University is a selective 4-year private liberal arts institution in central New York State and one of the oldest universities in the northeast. Colgate confers bachelor’s degrees in 56 academic majors and the campus is...

“…The mindset of most Colgate students is work hard, play hard. Many students spend their days our beautiful library and their nights enjoying the Greek scene on campus. The student population is well balanced and super smart, but most tend to be...” – Emily from Milford, NJ

Founded in 1853 and named for George Washington, Washington University in St. Louis is a 4-year private research university. WashU encompasses seven colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 90 areas of study. For artistically...

“…I'm currently a freshman in the Olin business school and from what I've encountered, the professors here are great! Their lectures are pretty entertaining and informative at the same time. If you don't get something in class, always go to their...” – Yuwei from St. Louis, MO

Oberlin College is a liberal arts institution that was founded in 1833 in Oberlin, OH. Only two colleges operate on this private university’s campus, a College of Arts and Sciences and the oldest continuously operating Conservatory of Music in the...

“…Located in a quaint secluded town, Oberlin College is a uniquely progressive Liberal Arts institution committed to equipping students with the tools and knowledge to affect their immediate environment positively. The affiliated Oberlin Conservatory...” – Stacy from Columbus, OH

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the oldest continuously operating technological research university in the United States. The main RPI campus in Troy, NY, is situated on 275 acres featuring 746 labs, studios, and technology...

“…If you've looked into RPI as your prospective university you know of its academic merit but that merit is tied to the expectation of your academic dedication and excellence. The professors will expect a lot from you but if you put in the effort they...” – Diana from Lauderhill, FL

Occidental College is a 4-year liberal arts college in Los Angeles and one of the oldest institutions on the West Coast. Also known as “Oxy,” the college confers bachelor’s degrees in over 40 majors and minors. To provide a hands-on learning...

“…The campus was really beautiful, and all of the students seem like family. The school strives to offer many unique academic opportunities such as internships, research abroad and grants for students to do undergraduate research. The students really...” – Clarice from Portland, OR

Colorado College
Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado College is a liberal arts college in Colorado Springs, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. CC offers over 80 academic majors and minors as well a thematic minor for students who wish to choose their field of concentration from several...

“…CC is a great place to grow intellectually. The block plan, where you take one class for three and a half weeks and then get a four-day weekend before starting another class can be very intense, but it is great for learning material, especially in...” – Emily from Colorado

Originally founded as Washington College in 1823, Trinity College is a 4-year liberal arts college in Hartford and the second oldest college in Connecticut. Trinity offers bachelor’s degrees in 41 academic majors and provides the chance to earn 200...

“…Trinity College is a great place to be challenged academically. Both academics and social life are important here as long as you can find a healthy balance between the two. In coming to Trinity College you should be prepared to meet different types...” – Zaniyyah from Sayreville, NJ

The University of British Columbia is a public institution with campuses located in the city of Vancouver and the city of Kelowna. The college is deeply rooted in academic research and maintains a number of research facilities, such as the Bamfield...

“…University of British Columbia is a fantastic school. It is located next to 7 beaches and have their own rose garden and Japanese garden. UBC is top ten in Science as well. ” – Cameron from Tacoma, WA

Reed College is an liberal arts and sciences institution in Portland, Oregon. The college is dedicated almost exclusively to academia and features bachelor's degrees in 40 majors and programs with no social clubs, fraternities, or varsity athletic...

“…Reed is tough. The students are intelligent, intellectual, wild, liberal, and independent. The work is highly demanding, but very rewarding. ” – Molly

Brandeis University is a private, nonsectarian institution founded by the Jewish community and named after the Supreme Court’s first Jewish justice. The 235-acre campus is located in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, and home to more than 100...

“…Brandeis is an all inclusive school with everything a student could wish for. Busting at the seams with student diversity, clubs of all kinds, and professors that you can approach at almost any time, the smaller community of Brandeis University is...” – ManOfLaMancha

Founded by Congregationalists in 1887, Pomona College is a private liberal arts school in the Los Angeles area and the founding member of the Claremont Colleges. Pomona confers bachelor’s degrees in 48 academic majors in the arts, social sciences,...

“…Weather is great! Really enjoying Pomona so far but its definitely some hard work. Work hard play hard i guess.” – Liv from out of state

Founded with funding from the estate of a Massachusetts Bay colonist, Williams College is a liberal arts institution in northwest Massachusetts. Williams is home to three divisions of Mathematics & Science, Languages, and Social Sciences conferring...

“…The classes are fast paced and challenging, particularly the math and science courses. If you keep up with the coursework, reading, and go to office hours, you definetly learn a lot. English classes are not much different than high school. You have...” – Marsha from belmont, MA