<span>18 ACT Colleges: Best Schools That Accept an 18 ACT Score</span>

18 ACT Colleges: Best Schools That Accept an 18 ACT Score

The ACT is a standardized test that measures proficiency in mathematics, English, reading, and science, as well as an optional writing section. The ACT is scored from 1 to 36, with 36 being the best possible score. Often used as an entrance exam for college, the ACT is taken by nearly 2 million students each year. 

 

Is a 18 ACT Score (38th Percentile) Good?

When we look at ACT scores, what we’re really looking for is a score that increases two things: the number of colleges and universities you can apply to and your competitiveness as a candidate. The average ACT hovers just below 21, at a 20.9, making that a great benchmark for all college-bound students. 

Several colleges will accept an ACT score of 18, but not as many as we’d typically like to see. Re-taking the test and aiming for the 21 score would be ideal. 

You can also look at your score based on percentiles. With a 21 being the most common score, it would put you at the 50th percentile, meaning that you scored higher than 50% of all nearly 2 million test takers. With an 18, you fall at the 38th percentile, meaning that the majority of other test takers scored higher. 

 

What Colleges Can I Get Into with an ACT Score of 18?

It’s not as cut and dry as it is with GPA, even though having exemplary scores in one or the other can drastically change admission options as well as merit aid options. Many colleges and universities will consider an applicant with an ACT score of 18 as long as it’s paired with a GPA that fits their perimeters or an otherwise competitive application.

While we’ve compiled a list of institutions below, it’s important to remember that an ACT score is only one component of the college application.

 

Should I Retake the ACT with an 18 Score?

There are a few options for handling an 18 ACT score. Retaking the exam is probably the most obvious one, but you’ll need to analyze your previous ACT test scores. Look at the detailed results breakdown that lists performance in every section of the test and take note of the subjects that need the most improvement so you can devote more preparation time to those areas.

There are a number of study strategies to adopt in preparation for your retest date. Pick up a book of sample ACT exam questions or download a sample exam and set aside time to take them using the same conditions from the actual test. Use a stopwatch to practice budgeting the time allotted for each section. Also, take the opportunity to meet with an academic advisor or college counselor to get their advice about how to study and prepare for the exam. Adjust your study habits to improve the results or look into a test prep course, as well as tutoring, if it’s affordable.

Another option to consider is adjusting your Likely, Target, and Reach lists of schools. By doing some research to see what ACT scores the colleges and universities you’re interested in typically accept, you’ll be able to understand where you land on that scale and what your goal ACT score is. Institutions will typically provide you with two numbers, the 25th and 75th percentiles. If your score is closer to the number listed under the 25th percentile, that would make the school a “reach” school for you since only 25 percent of the students admitted earned that score. If your score is closer to the 75th percentile, it makes you a good candidate for acceptance.

 

18 ACT to SAT Equivalent

An 18 ACT score is equivalent to a score between 940 and 970 on the SAT. There are a few key differences between these standardized tests, so what you score on one may not directly translate to the other, but this is a rough estimate of what you might earn on the SAT. 

If you feel like you’re having a difficult time with the ACT test type, it may be worth considering taking a practice SAT and seeing how you score. They have different time management requirements and styles, so you may excel more at one than the other! 

 

Scholarships for an 18 ACT Score

There are plenty of things you can earn scholarships for, including for standardized tests and GPA, which is typically referred to as merit scholarships or merit aid. An 18 ACT score likely won’t earn you much merit aid, you’ll likely need a 25 and above for that, but there are plenty of other types of scholarships to apply for, including based on your life circumstances, passions, and extracurriculars! Be sure to start applying for as many scholarships as possible early and often using our extensive scholarship database. 

 

View all scholarships

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 18 a good ACT score?

A score of 18 on the ACT doesn’t give you a whole ton of options for college, nor does it make you a competitive applicant at most. To make yourself a prime candidate, you’ll want to earn a score closer to the national average, which is 20.8. 

 

What colleges can I get into with a 18 ACT score?

There are a limited number of schools that accept an 18 ACT score, there are still options to consider. On your Target list of institutions, you can include Morgan State University, Tennessee State University, and North Carolina A&T State University

 

What percentile is a 18 ACT score?

Earning an 18 on the ACT puts you at the 38th percentile, meaning that you scored higher than 38% of all test takers. 

 

What is the SAT equivalent of a 18 ACT score?

Earning a score of 18 on the ACT is equivalent to earning a 940 to 970 on the SAT. There are, however, a few differences in these tests, meaning you may score higher on one test than the other. 

 

What scholarships can you get with a 18 ACT score?

When it comes to earning scholarships for your ACT, a score of 18 likely won’t make you applicable for many merit scholarships. There are plenty of other types of scholarships, though, including ones for extracurricular activities, passions, and life circumstances. Hop on over to our extensive scholarship database and begin your search today! 

 

View all scholarships

 

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Originally founded to educate returning World War II veterans, Portland State University is a 4-year public institution in the heart of Portland. The PSU campus encompasses eight colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 120...

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i love this school, especially because it's located in the heart of portland. it's a university filled with so much diversity. it's also a beautiful campus that makes you feel safe almost 100% of the time.

” – Marilynn from Winnemucca, NV

Originally founded as a teacher training college, San Francisco State University is a 4-year public institution and a Bay Area-based campus of the California State University System. SF State offers bachelor’s degrees in 77 fields of study and...

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I have only been at State for a semester so far but i feel that I have learned a great deal of material. The teachers are passionate about their subjects and want to learn. Go to office hours if you don't understand things.

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Radford University is located on a 204-acre campus in Radford, VA, and features six unique colleges with 108 degree programs. RU provides an honors college with competitive housing, programming, and advising, as well as the Office of High Impact...

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I am currently a freshman and a business managements major here and most of the core requirements are pretty easy. Core, the English part of the curriculum is a great class. It doesn't have a lot of students, so professor-student time is intimate...

” – Alitalia from Alexandria, VA

Formed by the merger of Clark College and Atlanta University, Clark Atlanta University is an Historically Black College and University affiliated with the United Methodist Church in Atlanta. CAU is home to colleges of Business Administration...

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try to go to all your classes and get to know the professors because they can really help you out if you're having trouble.

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Founded in 1867, Morgan State University is an Historically Black College and University in Baltimore and Maryland’s preeminent public urban research institution. A member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Morgan State offers degrees in more...

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This school has alot to offer. We are very diverse and very welcoming.

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California State University-Fresno is a 4-year public school and the second largest university in the Cal State system. Fresno State encompasses eight colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees. In addition, Fresno State has been designated...

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Fresno State is a fun school with a strong belief in their students. The diverity on the campus is a great way to meet new people with different backgrounds. This i a very good school and I like my decision on coming here.

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St Thomas University is a private institution located in Miami Gardens, Florida. STU is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and Archdiocese of Miami, and their institution goal is to “form[] a community of co-learners that teaches and worships...

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Professors are great. Whats best is the same class sizes; they allow for a more personalized education. Plenty of areas of study to choose from, however, the classes in less demand are on rotation so you might have to wait a semester to take a class...

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ODU is a great place if you are looking for diversity on campus, there are so many different people on campus that you can also learn more about the world outside of the the classroom. The teachers here are amazing they all have one goal in mind and...

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Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Southwestern College is a private school in southern Kansas. Southwestern confers bachelor’s degrees in 24 fields of study. As part of its technological initiative, Southwestern issues a laptop to every...

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This school has several faculty members who are here for the soul purpose of helping your get your desired degree. My favorite thing about these staff members is that even if one person can't help you, then you always have another staff member to...

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The University of West Georgia is a public, 4-year, R3 doctoral research university. UWG offers over 85 academic programs, and is home to an Honors College. UWG is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and...

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With two campuses in Nashville, Tennessee State University is the only state-funded Historically Black College and University in the state of Tennessee and part of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. TSU grants bachelor’s and graduate degrees in 77...

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Tennessee State University is truly a school for everyone. My experiences so far have been amazing and I haven't regretted a single one of them. If you're interested in a beautiful school with great and involved teachers, friendly students and...

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With campus a short walk from the Wabash River, Indiana State University is a 4-year public institution in western Indiana. ISU confers bachelor’s degrees in over 100 academic majors and makes over 70 degree-granting programs available entirely...

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Indiana State University is a great school. They have a lot of student resources and really focus on their retention rate. Lastly every student is bound to get involved on campus.

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It is a very friendly College
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TxSU is a great university! It is one of the few HBCUs that hold true to its tradition and legacy while providing a non-conventional, competitive education! Although I am a pharmacy/biology major, I'd have to say that TxSU is very aggressive across...

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This school is located just minutes form Washington D.C. There are many opportunities for leadership and service within a very diverse community. Marymount inspires the students to become active in the community, to be lifelong learners and leaders...

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The staff at Central are very friendly and willing to work with their students. The campus is beautiful and well-maintained. The student aides and other student volunteers are very open and willing to talk with students or help them in any way they...

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Founded in 1890, North Carolina A&T State University is a public Historically Black College and University and the state’s first land-grant university for people of color. N.C. A&T is home to nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees...

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Jackson State has a supportive network of professors and alumni. There is a warm, welcoming, helpful atmosphere whether you are experiencing your first tour, going to class, or handling business in any of the offices. There are multiple opportunities...

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Originally founded in 1899 as a liberal arts college, Tarleton State University is now a public state university with five campus locations and a member of the Texas A&M University System. The largest non-land grant agricultural institution in the...

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tarleton is full of traditions. tarleton is a place that is very welcoming. tarleton, to me, is home.

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Founded by the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1940, Barry University is a private institution in the Miami metro area and one of the largest Catholic universities in the southeast. Barry is home to eight colleges and schools conferring undergraduate and...

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Barry works hard to make sure their students have activities. They try their best to accommodate all students, and the most of the staff are considerate people.

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Founded by a freedman, Alabama A&M University is a public Historically Black College and University situated in Huntsville and a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Alabama A&M is home to colleges of Business, Natural Sciences, Engineering...

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Albany State University is an Historically Black College and University in southwest Georgia and part of the University System of Georgia. A member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, ASU is home to colleges of Arts & Sciences, Health Professions...

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Virginia State University is an Historically Black College and University in central Virginia and the nation’s first fully state-supported university for African Americans. The VSU campus hosts colleges of Business, Education, Agriculture, Humanities...

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Virginia State University is one that I would recommend for future students. The degrees offered are ones that are rated excellent. Virginia State understands how to balance social and school work.

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Sonoma State University is a public school in California’s wine country and one of the smallest campuses in the California State University system. Sonoma State grants bachelor’s degrees in 46 academic programs including the only Wine Business...

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Originally housed in a renovated hosiery mill, Columbus State University is a public institution in western Georgia. Columbus State encompasses colleges of Business, Letters & Sciences, the Arts, and Education conferring undergrad degrees in 46...

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I thoroughly enjoyed going to Columbus State University and have had my share of the good and the bad that come with being a student there. It was extremely affordable for a state college and provided a very good environment for learning.

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Situated on a 300-acre campus in Cheney, Eastern Washington University is a 4-year institution that’s been an accredited 4-year-degree-conferring entity long before it took its current name in 1977. Since opening its doors in 1882, EWU has grown to...

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rating eastern washington as a whole would be a tough question to ask just one student based on his or her experiences, however i would rate my experience a 9 out of 10. the transition phases that any student goes through are going to be extremely...

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Eastern is a very small university. The professors care about teaching over research. The community is very safe and caring.

” – Brooke from St. Joseph, IL

With a campus nestled in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, California State University-San Bernardino is a 4-year public institution and part of the Cal State system. An Hispanic-serving institution, Cal State San Bernardino is home to...

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” – Ruth from San Diego, CA

Founded in 1865, Bowie State University is the oldest Historically Black College and University in Maryland and one of the ten oldest in the United States. Bowie State encompasses colleges of Arts & Sciences, Education, Business, and Professional...

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So far, I have found the professors to be very knowledgeable in their fields of study.

” – Jasmine from Clinton, MD

Lincoln University
Lincoln University, PA

Lincoln University is a public, historically black institution established in Oxford, Pennsylvania, with a satellite location in Philadelphia. The 422-acre main campus is home to over 50 buildings built as early as 1899. The college offers nearly 40...

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Lincoln University is an enriching institution that is dedicated to their students. Lincoln always listens to the concerns of other students and constantly makes new changes on campus. Overall I would rate Lincoln a 10 out of 10.

” – Sharique from Fort Dix, NJ

Clayton State University is a 4-year public school in the Atlanta metro area and part of the University System of Georgia. Featuring a 214-acre park-like campus, Clayton State confers undergraduate degrees in over 60 academic majors and minors. In...

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The professors at Clayton State are so wonderful. They connect with the students on a personal level which encourages you to want to learn even more. They make sure you get your times worth in class and it's rare you will leave confused

” – Alexa from Stockbridge, GA

Originally founded as the Girls Industrial College, Texas Woman's University is a school primarily for women in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and the largest such university in the United States. Although TWU is designed for women, the university...

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The professors are nice and helpful. The campus has events where you can meet people and participate. The classes and campus are small, so you don't feel lost.

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Frostburg State University is a public, 4-year institution established in the state of Maryland. FSU offers a wide variety of degree programs, many of which are unique, such as Adventure Sports Management, Forestry, and Ethnobotany. The school bases...

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All of my teachers so far have been great! They all know what they're talking about and make sure we understand what they're talking about before moving on to something new. Even my math teacher, who tended to move a little fast, was willing to stay...

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California State University-Northridge is a public university in Los Angeles and one of the largest single-campus universities in the nation. CSU Northridge encompasses nine colleges and schools conferring 68 bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, CSUN...

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” – Bryan from Woodland Hills, CA

With campus along the coast of the Long Island Sound, the University of Bridgeport is a private institution in southern Connecticut. UB is home to colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, and Health Sciences offering degrees in over 125 academic...

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UB is essentially a diverse small friendly community providing a great atmosphere with much to benefit and learn from. The programs as well as courses satisfy my academic endeavor for the pursuit of knowledge. Living on campus is an individualistic...

” – Brian from Yonkers, NY

Fort Lewis College is a public liberal arts institution based in Durango, Colorado. It is a designated Native American-serving institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The school permits qualified Native American students to attend tuition...

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Durango is a beautiful place!

” – Brittany from Thornton, CO

Founded in 1922 in Wichita Falls, Midwestern State University is the only institution in the state to become a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). The 255-acre campus near Sikes Lakes offers 49 undergraduate programs and...

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The teachers at this school are really good. They are willing to help you if you have a problem in the class!! I am learning a ton!

” – Taylor from Stanton, TX

With campus located along the Mississippi River, St. Cloud State University is a 4-year public institution and one of the largest universities in Minnesota. St. Cloud State confers bachelor’s degrees in over 200 academic programs and is the only...

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I am currently finishing up my first semester of college. I am in general education classes now and they aren't as hard as I thought they would be. The library here is a great place to go to study and finish assignments.

” – Amber from Champlin, MN

Founded in 1871, SUNY Buffalo State is a public school in Buffalo and the largest 4-year college in the State University of New York System. SUNY Buffalo State is home to schools of Arts & Humanities, Education, the Professions, and Sciences, and is...

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The professors I have had since beginning Fall 2008 have been extremely helpful. They are available before and after class if you would like to speak with them and also through email. No matter what your problem is, they do what they can to assist...

” – Jessica from Rochester, NY

Southern Connecticut State University is a public institution focused on liberal arts and professional training. SCSU is part of the Connecticut State University System and is located in New Haven, Connecticut. All students must complete a Liberal...

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Southern Connecticut State University offers a vast amount of courses dealing with culture, liberal arts and offers several majors and masters programs. For example the study abroad program is an amazing opportunity that students can experience.

” – Jessica from East Haven, CT

Founded in 1891, Delaware State University is a public Historically Black College and University in the state capital of Dover. Delaware State is home to colleges of Humanities, Agriculture, Business, and Health Sciences conferring undergrad degrees...

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I loved my first year at DSU. The school is family friendly and fun. Campus life is amazing!

” – Cheyna from Brooklyn, NY