<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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Lincoln University
Lincoln University, PA

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A great place for a wholesome education at a HBCU.
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Simple yet easy place to meet new people.

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