<span>21 ACT Colleges: Best Schools That Accept a 21 ACT Score</span>

21 ACT Colleges: Best Schools That Accept a 21 ACT Score

The ACT is an entrance exam that many colleges use as part of their admissions process. The ACT is made up of four academic categories: Mathematics, Reading, English, and Science, as well as an optional Writing portion. Scored on a scale of 1 to 36, the ACT has 215 questions that need to be answered in 2 hours and 55 minutes. 

 

Is a 21 ACT Score (50th Percentile) Good?

A 21 ACT score is a little bit better than the average score of 20.8. Because of this, a 21 is a commonly accepted score at many schools, but it may not make you competitive at selective schools. 

Looking at this from another angle, a score of 21 puts you at the 50th percentile, meaning you scored higher than 50% of test takers — which is certainly something to be proud of. It also means that 50% of test takers scored higher, too, putting you in a bit of a limbo where you’re almost competitive, but not quite. 

 

What Colleges Can I Get Into with an ACT Score of 21?

A decent number of colleges will consider an application featuring a 21 on the ACT and we’ve compiled a list of these schools below. While a standardized test is only one part of the application, these institutions have a history of accepting students who earn a 21.

 

Should I Retake the ACT with a 21 Score?

If you have time and the ability to retake the ACT, it’s worth putting in a bit more effort to increase the competitiveness of your application. ACT score reports come with a breakdown of the tests four subject areas, so take a closer look at which subjects need improvement and devote extra study time to them. Remember that the essay portion of the exam doesn’t get factored into the overall score so budget more study time for the other sections.

Before the retake date, practice a few test-taking strategies.  For example, the ACT doesn’t penalize you for a wrong answer, so work on eliminating incorrect multiple choice options to make an educated guess. Remember, if you get stuck on any question, don’t spend too much time dwelling on it. Instead, move on to other questions that are quicker to answer and take a second pass at more difficult ones if there’s time.

For seniors, there are typically dates available to retake the test during the fall semester, but it may or may not be in time for earlier college application deadlines. If there isn’t time, focus on amping up the rest of your application. College admission offices look at applications as a whole and your ACT score is just a single component. Consult your college counselor for advice on composing a well crafted personal essay, and be sure to continue devoting proper study time to all classes to maintain a good GPA. With an ACT score of 21, a quality application to go along with it might be all you need!

 

21 ACT to SAT Equivalent

A 21 SAT score is equivalent to earning between a 1060 to 1090 on the SAT. While the score you earn on one test may not be what you’d earn on the other, it may be an indication. 

If the ACT doesn’t seem to be working for your test-taking style, it may be worthwhile to take a practice SAT to see your potential score. The tests require different types of time management, tools, and even have different content.   

 

Scholarships for a 21 ACT Score

Scholarships earned for your ACT or SAT, or based on your GPA, are typically referred to as merit scholarships or merit aid. A 21 ACT score isn’t likely to earn you much merit aid, but there are plenty of other types of scholarships you can earn outside of those for merit. Start searching today for scholarships based on your location, life circumstances, passions, extracurriculars, and more. 

 

View all scholarships

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 21 a good ACT score?

A 21 ACT score puts you right at the national average, making you eligible to apply to a number of schools. It offers you a slight competitive edge, but won’t make you competitive for most selective schools. 

 

What colleges can I get into with a 21 ACT score?

With a 21 ACT score, you’re eligible to apply to a number of schools and, among your Target institutions, you can include California State University-Fullerton, Montclair State University, and Eastern Michigan University. Remember that your ACT is only a portion of what colleges consider when evaluating students, so be sure to align your GPA and write a compelling personal statement.    

 

What percentile is a 21 ACT score?

A 21 ACT score puts you at the 50th percentile, meaning you scored higher than 50% of test takers. 

 

What is the SAT equivalent of a 21 ACT score?

A 21 ACT score is equivalent to earning a 1060 to 1090 on the SAT

 

What scholarships can you get with a 21 ACT score?

A 21 ACT score likely won’t earn you much merit aid, but there are numerous other types of scholarships you can apply for, including those for location, life circumstances, extracurriculars, and more. Start applying today to build up a nest egg that will offset the cost of college tuition! 

 

View all scholarships

 

 

Advanced Search

The University of Texas at San Antonio is a 4-year public research institution and the largest university in the San Antonio region. UTSA encompasses nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees as well as an Honors College. Between...

“…

UTSA has great professors that are not only good at what they do but make the subject matter enjoyable and easy to learn. Classes are difficult but that's how you know its worth the money, right? UTSA also offers SI sessions and has a huge library...

” – Alexander from San Antonio, TX

California State University-Fullerton is a 4-year public research institution in Orange County and a campus of the Cal State system. Cal State Fullerton has the largest student body out of any California State University school and has been...

“…

if you are an incoming freshman, i highly suggest you live on campus for the best college experience. if you wana find a roommate that works well with you instead of letting it be random, you should check out roomsurf . com thats how i met my...

” – Brittany from Coronado, CA

Originally founded as a small branch college, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas is a 4-year public university and an Hispanic-Serving and Minority-Serving institution. UNLV encompasses 16 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in...

“…

I have a love-hate relationship with UNLV as I pretty much do with anything. The good definitely outweighs the bad though. It's virtually impossible to sum up my experience at UNLV in only three sentences!

” – Jenny from Las Vegas, 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...

“…

I've only been here a semester, but I'm learning a lot. All the teachers I've had are committed to helping you learn something. But really, your education is what you make of it, so of course... go to class. :)

” – Eva from Santa Clara, CA

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...

“…

Not only have I been learning in the classroom, but, surprisingly, this small town has provided me oppurtunities to learn about other cultures and diverse people.

” – Brittany from Norfolk, 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...

“…

THE PRICE TO ATTEND THIS UNIVERSITY IS DEFINITELY WORTH THE PRICE. ATLANTA IS A GREAT CITY, PLUS YOU HAVE THE A.U.C, WHICH INCLUDES CLARK ATLANTA,SPELMAN AND MOREHOUSE COLLEGE.

” – JOHN from TAMPA, FL

Montclair State University is a 4-year public institution in northern New Jersey and the second largest university in the state. Montclair State is home to 11 colleges and schools conferring over 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees and the...

“…

Although Montclair State seems rather large, the faculty and students really make the campus feel like a community. There are many different activities and opportunities available to everyone on-campus and off-campus. Whether it be Greek life, sports...

” – Chloe from Cedar Grove, NJ

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...

“…

very excellent university
good teachers who love to teacher
very helpful staff

” – Brittany from Fresno, CA

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...

“…

Saint Thomas University is a small great university. It has the necessary to provide to its students, the Academic Enhancement Center is pleased to help you develop your skills and potentials in any discipline. The social interaction between students...

” – Brunel from Miami Gardens, FL

Founded in 1849 as a teachers college, Eastern Michigan University is now a 4-year public school in Ypsilanti, MI. EMU is home to five colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in over 200 academic majors and minors. In addition to classroom space, EMU...

“…

I have just completed my first semester at Eastern and so far I have learned quite a bit. Everything from Risk Analysis on buildings and computers to Ethical decisions to learning different types of speech.

” – Tyler from Osseo, MI

Old Dominion University is a 4-year public institution in Norfolk and a doctoral high research activity university. ODU hosts colleges of Arts & Letters, Business, Sciences, Education, Engineering, and Health Sciences as well as an Honors College...

“…

The engineering department at Old Dominion University is very dedicated to its students. The professors have no issues going out of their way to help struggling students to succeed. The curriculum is informative and easy to understand.

” – Shelby from Norfolk, VA

Part of the University of Wisconsin system, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a 4-year public school and the largest university in Milwaukee. UWM confers degrees in over 195 academic programs and the university is one of two doctoral-degree...

“…

Professors will work with you

” – Julia - Roscoe, IL

Founded in 2005, the University of California-Merced is a 4-year public research institution in northern California and the first American research university opened in the 21st century. UC Merced is home to colleges of Social Sciences, Engineering...

“…

This school is looked down upon for being so new to the UC System. It is a great school thriving. All the current students are pioneers of something big. UC Merced is expanding and will eventually highly prestigious. It gives the students who were at...

” – Israel from Modesto, CA

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...

“…

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...

” – Cody from Wamego, KS

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...

“…

Make sure you go to class!

” – Shannon from Marietta, GA

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...

“…

Chick Fil

” – Shawna Kay from Opa Locka, FL

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...

“…

Indiana State University is a great college for everyone across the globe.&#13;
All my classes have been personal enough that I get the attention that I need and still do not stick out.&#13;
Everyone that I have met since I have been on the grounds has...

” – Dillion from Sullivan, IN

Wesleyan College is a private, 4-year, women’s institution. Founded in 1836, Wesleyan was the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to woman, and its 200-acre, wooded campus has since been added to the National Register of Historic...

“…

Wesleyan is an academically challenging school. The classes sizes are very small so you receive a lot of one on one attention from your professors. The faculty and staff are willing to help you in anyway that they can.

” – Jordan from Griffin, GA

With campus a short drive from the Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Carolina University is a 4-year public liberal arts institution in South Carolina. CCU confers bachelor’s degrees in 74 academic areas of study. In addition to the academic facilities on its...

“…

This is a great school to attend and still be close to my home and family. The professors really work well with students as a whole or individually if needed. The advisers make time to sit and assist you with any questions or concerns you may have...

” – Kelsey from Mullins, SC

Founded as a normal college for women, Valdosta State University is a public institution in southern Georgia and part of the University System of Georgia. Valdosta State confers degrees in over 100 majors, minors, and certificates. Additionally, VSU...

“…

Valdosta State University has a diverse campus with many things to do around campus. It has great and helpful teachers. It's not too big or too small of a campus.

” – Current Student

Founded by a Baptist minister in 1887, Campbell University is a 4-year Christian institution in central North Carolina. Campbell encompasses eight colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 100 majors, concentrations, and tracks. As...

“…

Campbell University is a great college for students trying to find a close knit community with small class sizes. The teachers are very in tune with their students and get information across quickly and accurately. Overall, this school is fantastic.

” – Troy from Fayetteville, NC

Heidelberg University is a private, liberal arts institution established in Tiffin, Ohio. Students graduating from Heidelberg are all given the option to enroll in the school’s Plus One Advantage program, which registers students in a 1-year Master...

“…

Heidelberg is all about the students, every faculty member you pass has a smile on their face. The students are wise and very informative and willing to answer questions that you have. Heidelberg is community oriented with a broad select of majors to...

” – Arneshiah from Carey, OH

Founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Marymount University is a Roman Catholic institution in northern Virginia and the first Catholic college in the state. Marymount encompasses schools of Arts & Humanities, Business, and Sciences...

“…

I absolutely love my Marymount experience. I've been able to go abroad twice (once to study PTSD in Chimpanzees in Kenya and once to the University of Oxford in England), study my major of Psychology, become a student researcher, lead groups like...

” – Katie from Fairfax, VA

Originally founded in 1891 as the Washington State Normal School, Central Washington University is a 4-year public institution. Central Washington is home to six colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 135 academic majors as well...

“…

Central Washington University has wonderful facilitators, advisers, and student programs. I have met so many wonderful people, in my courses, as well as in campus activities, and clubs. This college is student-centered, and provides students with...

” – Amy from Ellensburg, WA

Colorado Mesa University is located in Grand Junction, Colorado on the beautiful Western Slope of the state. At CMU, the student is the hero of the story. The university exists to guide students to broaden their horizons and reach their goals. CMU...

“…

CMU is the underdog as far as universities are concerned. It is a small school, but it is always growing and always improving. In the future, I have no doubt that they will be up to par with the larger universities with a little bit of time.

” – Amber from Henderson, CO

Western Illinois University is a four-year public university, with a traditional, residential campus in Macomb, and a branch campus in Moline. The Macomb campus, comprising 1,000 acres in west central Illinois, provides residential living spaces...

“…

Coming to Western was the best descion of my life. It is a great university and I plan to earn my PhD here.

” – Andre from Naperville, IL

Founded in 1855, Kean University is a public school in northeast New Jersey and the state’s first public post-secondary institution of higher learning. Kean grants undergraduate degrees in over 50 areas of study and graduates the most teachers in the...

“…

Kean University is a great and affordable university. It is very diverse and i love the people that attend. The school has a beautiful campus and everyone works hard to keep the school clean and safe.

” – Darlene from Atlantic City , NJ

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...

“…

The teachers here are very informative, some of them make sure you understand before they move on to another topic. The Business program here is one of the best just not that known for it.

” – bianca from APO, AE, NY

Founded in 1910 as a teacher’s college, Bowling Green State University is a 4-year public research institution in northwest Ohio. Bowling Green State is home to eight colleges conferring undergraduate degrees as well as an honors college. In addition...

“…

I think the campus is beautiful, well laid out, and the perfect size. There is a good amount of food options to choose from on campus. It is very flat in Bowling Green therefore the campus is extraordinarily windy, which can be a real pain.

” – Manda from Martins Ferry, OH

Named for the second president of the Republic of Texas, Lamar University is a 4-year public school in southeast Texas and a member of the Texas State University system. Lamar encompasses five colleges granting bachelor’s and graduate degrees in over...

“…

Lamar University is a great university if you like easy access to professors, many research opportunities, and a good education at a low cost. Since being at Lamar I've been able to conduct research in psychology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry...

” – Karla from Port Arthur, TX

Named after Wilbur & Orville Wright, Wright State University is a 4-year public school in Dayton. Wright State features eight colleges and three schools granting degrees in 295 academic programs. In addition to classroom space, Wright State hosts the...

“…

Wright State has a friendly atmosphere; it is very inviting and has great ways to get involved on campus! The academic program is quickly growing and branching out in various directions, great for prospective students. These things combined make...

” – Bridget from Franklin, OH

Texas A&M University-Commerce is the second-largest of the 11 campuses in the A&M system. The public research campus features an agricultural center, which includes artificial wetlands, a native prairie reserve, an equine arena and boarding facility...

“…

This school is amazing! The staff is very friendly and shows genuine compassion and concern for the students. My first initial visit to the campus and I knew this was the place I would pursue my college education at.

” – Turner from Richardson, TX

Founded in 1877, Jackson State University is a public Historically Black College and University in the Mississippi state capital of Jackson and one of the largest HBCUs in the nation. A member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Jackson State is...

“…

Not only academically have I learned a lot, but about myself and life in general. Being thirteen years younger than my sister, I had to figure out college in its entirety on my own. I thought it would be extremely challenging. The instructor's and...

” – Christiana from Milwaukee, WI

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...

“…

I definitely learn a lot while at Tarleton, not only about school subjects but on a personal level as well. The atmosphere at this school is very welcoming of every individual as a person but also as members of the Tarleton family. This allows for a...

” – Brianna from Temple, TX

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...

“…

Barry University is a very good academic school. They will help you do what you want to do, not what the school thinks you should do. They are also a very friendly school as well as host many events here on campus.

” – Regina from Lauderhill, FL

Founded in 1889, Weber State University is a 4-year public school in northern Utah. Weber State awards undergraduate degrees and certificates in over 225 academic programs with a focus on integrating scholarship and community. For recreation, Weber...

“…

I have been taking Concurrent Enrollment classes through my high school from Weber State. My Instructor has been knowledgeable, helpful, and pleasant to work with. I will take the skills learned from these classes and apply them in my life!

” – Holly from Ogden, UT

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...

“…

Virginia State University is Diverse with a family oriented atmosphere. It is great with helping transitioning from High School to College. Also the food is great!

” – Tyshenia from Brooklyn, NY

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...

“…

Beautiful campus that is the perfect size - not too big and not too small. One of the things I love the most about SSU is seeing people I know whenever I'm walking to and from class or am just out and about, Many opportunities to get involved - there...

” – K.D.

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...

“…

CSU has a cultural enrichment and campus environment. I applied to many schools and had the opportunity to visit them all but found that CSU has that home away from home feel that I was looking for.

” – Current CSU Student

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...

“…

Just like with any other college experience, there are amazing teachers who are there to help you almost every day, and there are classes where the text book is a more useful resource than the prof. Overall though, it is a good learning experience...

” – Alexis from Cheney, WA

Stevenson University is a private university with a liberal arts curriculum. Stevenson offers more than 28 academic programs, as well as more than 21 bachelor's and master's online for flexible learning. SU has extensive Bachelor's to Master's...

“…

The teachers are always willing to work with you one on one. The classes are small which is an advantage as the teacher is able to pay more attention to each of the student's needs. There is also free tutoring and Supplemental Instructors available...

” – Yolanda from Hyattsville, MD

Eastern Illinois University is a 4-year institution in Charleston featuring four colleges on a 320-acre campus. EIU offers 60 bachelor’s degrees, which can be complemented by any of the 85 minors offered, as well as four areas of undergraduate study...

“…

Eastern is a comforting and welcoming environment for students from all walks of life. Campus is easy to navigate and has some pretty awesome sunsets. Resources provided to students are helpful.

” – Mariam from Nigeria

Founded in 1888, the University of Charleston is a private school situated in Charleston, West Virginia and is a designated military-friendly school. UC is home to the Erma Byrd Gallery, which houses over 100 pieces of art created by local female...

“…

The University of Charleston is small private college located on the Kanawha River in Charleston, WV. The professors genuinely care about each individual student's grades, progress, and success in his or her respective field. This institution is...

” – ElizabethR from Charleston, WV

Humboldt State University is a 4-year public institution in Arcata, CA, and is the northernmost campus of the California State University system. HSU is an Hispanic-serving institution conferring bachelor’s degrees in 51 academic majors. HSU also...

“…

Very involved in social justice, nice and interesting people to interact with. Professors are easy to talk and meet with, willing to sit and talk at your convenience. Beautiful campus to walk around in, surrounding city as well.

” – Freshman from SoCal

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...

“…

clayton state university has been a big influence in my life choices for my future. throughout my attendance here at clayton state univ. i have found and developed my purpose for my field in sociology. this university provides the equitable services...

” – Yahara from Covington, 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...

“…

I was suprised that this outstanding university is not as expensive as others.

” – Janet from Dallas, TX

Founded in 1896 - Wingate University is a comprehensive, independent and growing university located in Wingate, NC, just 25 minutes from Charlotte, NC. At Wingate, students blend in-class learning with out-of-class application and have a life...

“…

Work hard in high school, so they will offer you a large scholarship. Visit the campus. It's really beautiful. :)

” – Shelley from NC

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...

“…

I'm really glad I chose to attend Frostburg. I've met a lot of new people and made a lot of friends. I've become even more open minded and learned a lot from my experiences there.

” – Tiara from Owings Mills, MD

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...

“…

The perfect university in all aspects! Whether it be through sports, education, clubs, or connects, CSUN is guaranteed to get you ready for the real world, and you'll have fun doing it! In just one year, I have discovered my perfect school, and I'm...

” – Estelle robinson

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...

“…

University of Bridgeport is a wonderful college with many caring staff. The staff are not there just to receive checks, they really care and want to help you succeed. With my past college experiences, UB is by far the best with friendly and caring...

” – Yalisa from West Haven, CT