<span>23 ACT Colleges: Best Schools That Accept a 23 ACT Score</span>

23 ACT Colleges: Best Schools That Accept a 23 ACT Score

The ACT is a national standardized test that many colleges and universities use as part of the admissions process. Nearly two million students take the ACT every year, with the average test taker scoring 20.8. The test features 215 questions across four sections (Mathematics, Science, Reading, and English) and a time limit of 2 hours and 55 minutes. There’s also an optional Writing portion that takes an additional 40 minutes. 

 

Is a 23 ACT Score (68th Percentile) Good?

When analyzing standardized testing scores, we look at eligibility and competitiveness when applying for colleges. An ACT score of 23 makes you eligible to apply at a large variety of colleges, as well as makes you a competitive candidate — something you should definitely be proud of! 

Looking at this from a different angle, a score of 23 on the ACT puts you at the 68th percentile, meaning that you scored higher than 68% of test takers, something that colleges and universities know and appreciate. 

 

What Colleges Can I Get Into with an ACT Score of 23?

A score of 23 on the ACT will provide a wide variety of college and university options, from small liberal arts colleges to large public universities. We’ve compiled a representative sample of them below. No ACT score is an automatic ticket to admission but all of these colleges have developed a pattern of accepting students with a 23.

 

Should I Retake the ACT with a 23 Score?

A score of 23 is beneficial for admission to a sizable number of colleges and universities. If the school you’re considering is among the institutions that typically accept students with a 23 on the ACT, now is the time to make sure that the rest of your application is as strong as possible. Devote enough study time to ensure your high school GPA is as strong as it can be. If any classes feel especially difficult, make them a priority when budgeting time for homework and test preparation since colleges and universities value consistent academic performance. Additionally, be sure to craft a strong personal essay that is consistent with the quality of your ACT score. Have your college counselor or academic advisor read your essay and offer constructive criticism. With an essay that flows well and a good GPA, this will substantially increase the marketability of your application at a number of schools.

If you’re interested in retaking the ACT to see if you can attain an even better score or to increase the likelihood of more merit aid, take a look at the subject-by-subject breakdown of your score to determine where to devote most of your study time. Remember that incorrect answers don’t penalize your score, so work out a system for skipping difficult questions and returning to them at the end of the section. Keep in mind that while most colleges view an ACT score of 23 in a positive light, it’s still not quite high enough for most selective schools. If those aren’t on your list of dream schools, though, your 23 will suit many good institutions just fine!

 

23 ACT to SAT Equivalent

A 23 SAT score is equivalent to earning an 1130 to 1150 on the SAT. However, because there are some differences between these two standardized tests, what you earn on one may not line up with what you’d earn on the other. 

The ACT and SAT differ in time management requirements, tools, and even content. If you feel like you should be scoring higher on your ACT, it’s possible it’s not the right test for you. Consider taking a practice SAT to see which test better aligns with your test-taking style.   

 

Scholarships for a 23 ACT Score

Earning money based on your GPA, SAT score, or ACT score is typically referred to as merit aid. A 23 ACT score may make you eligible for some merit-based scholarships, but remember that there are tons of other types of scholarships you’re also applicable for, including ones based on your location, life circumstances, and extracurriculars. Begin applying today to build up your nest egg! 

 

View all scholarships

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 23 a good ACT score?

A 23 ACT score makes you eligible to apply at a good number of colleges and universities, and competitive to apply at many, too. You won’t be competitive at selective schools quite yet, but you’re certainly in a good place to be accepted at many decent schools. 

 

What colleges can I get into with a 23 ACT score?

You can consider many schools, so make sure to flesh out your Likely, Target, and Reach institution lists. Among many others, you can include Central Michigan University, Georgia State University, and California State Polytechnic University-Pomona on your Target institutions list.  

 

What percentile is a 23 ACT score?

A 23 ACT score puts you at the 68th percentile, meaning you scored higher than 68% of test takers. 

 

What is the SAT equivalent of a 23 ACT score?

A 23 ACT score is equivalent to earning a 1130 to 1150 on the SAT

 

What scholarships can you get with a 23 ACT score?

You may be eligible for some merit-based scholarships with a 23 ACT score. Note that there are plenty of other scholarships options, as well, including ones based on extracurriculars, locations, life circumstances, and more! Start applying today! 

 

View all scholarships


 

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Washington State University

Founded in 1890, Washington State University is the state's first land-grant university. Washington State University offers more than 200 fields of study, including 96 undergraduate majors, 86 minors, and more than 140 graduate and professional...

“…

The professors at Washington State University are incredible, and luckily, all the ones I have had are really good at getting to know their students on a personal basis. Even with a 300 person lecture, if you're the type of student who is willing to...

” – Laurel from Conifer, CO

Central Michigan University

Originally founded as a teachers college, Central Michigan University has grown to become a 4-year public research institution. CMU encompasses eight colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in over 200 academic programs. In addition, CMU is home to...

“…

It's quite expensive but the amount of education you receive while attending Central Michigan University prepares you or anything in the world.

” – Shanique from Roseville, MI

Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is a 4-year public school in south Texas and the largest campus in the TSU system. TSU hosts nine colleges conferring undergraduate degrees in 98 academic majors. Every year, Texas State unveils a Common...

“…

I am looking forward to experiencing this school in July and getting a head start before the Fall session begins.

” – Kristen from Lubbock, TX

Georgia State University

Georgia State University is a 4-year public university with seven campuses throughout Atlanta and the largest university in the state by enrollment. GSU features 10 colleges and schools conferring degrees in over 100 areas of study. Additionally, the...

“…

The teachers here rally make sure you learn what you are there to learn. If you are falling behind, most of the teachers will give you plenty of opportunity to catch back up. the class sizes were very reasonable. I was able to develop a personal...

” – Jayquan from hampton, GA

The University of Texas at San Antonio

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...

“…

I didn't think I could learn more from the basic classes than everyone needs, but I have. There are some points that weren't even mentioned from my high school classes.

” – Priscilla from Laredo, TX

California State University-Fullerton

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...

“…

Many of the professors at Cal State Fullerton are very knowledgable in their respected area of study, and show a great deal of passion about the topics they teach. The education is of a very high quality, and the curriculum is very intellectually...

” – Jenny from Los Angeles, CA

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona is a public university in southern California and one of two polytechnic institutions in the Cal State system. Cal Poly Pomona is home to nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees. In...

“…

I have a hunger for what I want to learn and I believe Cal Poly will feed me properly as long as I put my part.

” – christian from Fontana, CA

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is the result of a merger between Indiana University and Purdue University and offers degrees from both institutions. IUPUI hosts 17 schools granting degrees in over 350 areas of study. Additionally...

“…

IUPUI is a really good school that offers a large variety of courses. I've learned alot so far and the Professors are really considerate, helpful, and professional. If you are a student that takes your education and future seriously, this would be a...

” – Laquanda from Indianapolis, IN

University of Nevada-Las Vegas

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...

“…

Everyone knows college isn't gonna be easy, its a challenge. There are going to be teachers that only go over the general information in the lecture, leaving it up to you to learn the concepts through the book. But reading the book is required in all...

” – Joan from Henderson, NV

Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston University is a public, 4-year institution located in Huntsville, Texas. Founded in 1879, SHSU is the third oldest public university in the state and a member of the Texas State University System. The university provides 170 fields of...

“…

College is a time to expand the knowledge you already have and pursue new knowledge for use through the rest of your life. Sam Houston has allowed me to do both. In just the two semesters I have been here, I have learned more than I ever did in High...

” – Jessica from Spring, TX

Portland State University

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...

“…

Depending on how much you apply yourself you can really learn a lot. You learn from everyone and about everything, very interesting approach to teaching here.

” – Mary from Portland, OR

Illinois State University

Founded in 1857, Illinois State University is a 4-year institution in central Illinois and the first public university in the state. The ISU campus hosts six colleges and schools as well as an Honors Program and Milner Library. In addition, ISU is...

“…

I have learned a lot this past year, not just academics but how to be independent as well as getting involved and making the experience worth it.

” – Becca from Carol Stream, IL

San Jose State University

San Jose State University is the oldest public university on the west coast, and is the founding campus of the 23-campus California State University System. Located on 154 acres in downtown San Jose, SJSU offers more than 145 areas of study with an...

“…

- Lower division General Ed classes have always been pretty easy. You get what you put in. You want to learn a lot, study, and get a solid A+ or if you want to put in little work, study right before major tests and get a B-/C+ then you can do that...

” – Ashley from San Jose, CA

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University is a four-year public research institution in Flagstaff, Arizona, which is consistently named among the nation’s best college towns. A variety of award-winning student resources and support are available to all students...

“…

The books can only tell you so much but when you bring good teachers in, who know the books and know the material, you get the most out of your classes. Here, there are great teachers who don't just stick to boring lectures with a billion power...

” – Jeffrey from Phoenix, AZ

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Originally opened as a night school in Charlotte Central High School, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has grown to become a 4-year public research institution and campus of the UNC system. UNC Charlotte is home to seven colleges...

“…

I transferred in from another institution and it was an okay school. I feel like since I have been at UNCC the professors have been extremely great! I have learned so much more! They are really helpful and nice!

” – Lauren from Greensboro, NC

East Carolina University

East Carolina University is located in Greenville, NC, and is comprised of 13 colleges. This public research university offers 84 bachelor's and 71 master's degrees, and claims a spot as the state leader in distance educated by providing 90 online...

“…

Out of state tuition is gruesome in this economy! But there is truly no where I'd rather be than an ECU pirate!

” – Purple and Gold, Greenville NC

San Francisco State University

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 have enjoyed all but one teacher in my first year here at SF State. My teachers are committed to giving me the best education they can and that's a lot to ask for from a state school.

” – Liza from Bolinas, CA

Towson University

Located in Towson, MD, a suburb of Baltimore, Towson University is a diverse and inclusive campus community where your interests and talents have the platform to shine.

At Towson U, you get top ranked programs, small classes, and professors who will...

“…

I have just completed my first semester at Towson. Last semester I took 5 classes. I'm an art major so two of my classes are art classes. In the classes i took i honestly learned a lot. Each of my teachers went in depth in their courses and...

” – Kristin from Waldorf, MD

Marshall University

Established in 1837 and named for former Chief Justice John Marshall, Marshall University is a 4-year public research institution in southwestern West Virginia. Marshall is home to seven undergraduate colleges conferring bachelor’s degrees in 57...

“…

Marshall university is an amazing school, and I would recommend it for people who are looking for an in the middle school. The classes are small enough so you can get personal one-on-one contact with professors, but big enough so it doesn't still...

” – Margaret from Danville, WV

Radford University

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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Professors are willing and able to help students during his or her specificed office hours. The stronger your will to learn, the more you will gain from each course.

” – Taylor from Blacksburg, VA

Clark Atlanta University

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...

“…

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.

” – Tia from Atlanta, GA

Montclair State University

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...

“…

Montclair State University's student to faculty ratio is 17 to 1, and class size is not large. The environment is just right for learning, and it is put together for your academic success.

” – Elisha from Blackwood, NJ

Manchester University

Originally founded as the Roanoke Classical Seminary, Manchester University is a liberal arts university in northeast Indiana affiliated with the Church of the Brethren. Manchester is home to colleges of Arts & Humanities, Health Sciences, Business...

“…

Manchester University is a place where many different people can get together to learn, study, and approach the future together. Teachers and staff are quite friendly and are always willing to help a student. Furthermore, centers exist where students...

” – Gaius from Greenwood, IN

Kennesaw State University

One of the top 50 largest public schools in the United States, the third-largest university in the state, Kennesaw State University is a 4-year institution with two campuses in the Atlanta metro area. KSU is home to 13 colleges granting degrees in...

“…

There are bad teachers but there are more good ones. Just look on ratemyprofessor.com or pic a prof. I have gotten all As and Bs in my classes and I'm a junior. Lots of effort is required!!! My teachers this semester are really funny but brilliant!

” – Alicia from Kennesaw, GA

Ball State University

Originally founded as a teacher’s college, Ball State University is a public institution in eastern Indiana. Ball State is home to seven colleges conferring undergraduate degrees in more than 120 academic majors. Throughout the year, Ball State...

“…

Ball State is giving me several opportunities to stand out from the crowd. I am an Elementary major and I will be studying abroad in the summer in Britain and I am also taking a couple immersive classes. Ball State is all about getting you in the...

” – Stacy from Jackson, LA

Hampton University

Founded in 1868 after the Civil War to provide education to freedmen, Hampton University is an Historically Black College and University on the Virginia Peninsula. Hampton is home to eight undergraduate colleges conferring bachelor’s degrees and...

“…

Hampton University is an excellent school when it comes to academics.l The professors are very interested in their students. They provide office hours as well as email addresses in order for their students to contact them. All of my professors...

” – Asia from Winterville, NC

Kent State University at Kent

Originally founded as a teacher-training school, Kent State University is a 4-year public research university in northeast Ohio. Kent State hosts ten colleges conferring undergraduate degrees in more than 300 areas of study. Additionally, KSU is home...

“…

The major that I am in (Visual Communication Design) started me out right away in classes towards my degree! I'm only in my second semester and am actively learning many essential tools and concepts of design through three classes dedicated solely to...

” – Christy from Akron, OH

Eastern Michigan University

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...

“…

Eastern has a good atmosphere for learning. The professors offer a college level challenge, yet are very accessible and more than willing to help if you are having trouble. I felt like the cirriculum was set up for you to become a well rounded and...

” – John from Southfield, MI

University of Hartford

Spread across seven dynamic schools and colleges, UHart is a four-year private nonprofit university that has been guiding the purpose and passion of undergraduate and graduate students for over six decades. Centrally located alongside Connecticut’s...

“…

The first year at any college, you will have to take classes outside of your major. Hartford has All University Curriculum classes (normally referred to as Gen-Eds). The classes fall under the categories of Arts, Culture, Technology and Science....

” – Sarah R.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Hawai’i at Manoa is a 4-year public university on the island of O’ahu and the flagship campus of the UH System. The largest and oldest of the Hawai’i campuses, UH Manoa confers bachelor’s degrees in 100 academic majors. Additionally...

“…

I am attending the Honors College of Engineering. Some of the subjects are hard and require a lot of effort, but the course content and teaching quality is solid.

” – Brandon from Colorado Springs, CO

Troy University

Founded in 1887 as Troy State Normal School, Troy University is a 4-year public school in southeast Alabama and the flagship of the Troy University System. Troy is home to five colleges conferring undergraduate and graduate degrees in over 260...

“…

Troy takes pride in the Academic Rigor that is created by creating perfect class sizes and professor/student relationships. The balance helps create a solid academic education and confidence in yourself!

” – James - Birmingham, AL

Old Dominion University

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...

“…

Old Dominion Professors are very professional and informative when it comes to detailed lectures & assignments.

” – Efrem from Chantilly, VA

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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...

“…

I have learned so much so far at UWM. My art classes are fantastic! The instructors are very knowledgeable in their fields, and push creativity and new thoughts into my head effortlessly. I can't wait to go back!

” – Chelsea from Bristol, WI

Western Carolina University

Situated near the Great Smoky Mountains, Western Carolina University is a public school in the University of North Carolina system with three campus locations. WCU features six colleges granting bachelor’s degrees encompassing over 120 majors, minors...

“…

The classes are small enough that the teachers give you the attention you need and make themselves available for you if you need extra help.&#13;
Western also has great departments for you to choose from. Western has a special department for...

” – Krysta from Kernersville, NC

Western Michigan University

Established in 1903, Western Michigan University is a four-year public university in Kalamazoo. WMU is home to eight colleges and schools as well as Lee Honors College—the oldest honors college in the nation. Unique to Western, WMU Signature...

“…

I have to say, I thought Gen. Ed's would be boring, but I have found one in each area that has kept my interest. I must say though if ever you get a chance to be in a class by Prof. Tim McGrew, do not pass up the opportunity. McGrew has been one of...

” – Charles from Portage, MI

Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University is a selective public university with a focus on research. The DeKalb campus is home to seven colleges with 46 schools and departments, and students can take advantage of regional centers in Chicago, Naperville, Rockford...

“…

Some of the classes are pretty difficult and take a lot of studying, but this is a good thing. I have learned more from my Engineering class than in any other class I taken my entire life. The class sizes vary. I have had some classes with only 15...

” – Erik from Hanover Park, IL

University of New Haven

Originally founded on the Yale campus in 1920, the University of New Haven is a 4-year private institution on the New Haven coast. UNH is home to six colleges and schools offering bachelor’s degrees in over 100 fields of study. Additionally, the UNH...

“…

diverse students and faculty members. professors are up to date on the latest information, and many still work in their fields of expertise. variety of resources available to students in their search for internships, jobs, study abroad opportunities...

” – Lani from West Warren, MA

Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago is a private non-profit college located in the heart of Chicago. The one and only campus has more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs to choose from, in addition to programs available entirely online. Every...

“…

The classes are challenging in a great way. The staff are more than willing to explain complicated concepts in many different ways until students tell them they understand.

” – Sarah from Burlington, WI

The Evergreen State College

With campus along the shores of Puget Sound, The Evergreen State College is a public liberal arts institution in Washington’s state capital of Olympia. Evergreen offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees without formal majors and...

“…

The Evergreen State College has a variety of fun, unique, and engaging classes. As a freshman, I have only enrolled in one course for the entire year. This class, however, has really opened my eyes to many possibilities and I have learned more in a...

University of New England

With campus situated a short distance from Saco Bay, The University of New England is a 4-year institution in coastal Maine and the largest private university in the state. UNE is home to colleges of Arts & Sciences, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy...

“…

Like every new school year, I was a little nervous about what the classes would be like in college. At UNE, the class sizes are small, much like high school. The work is challenging, yet not daunting. I have great relationships with my professors...

” – Evan from Woodstock, CT

University of California-Merced

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...

“…

the housing on-campus is very new, every building is made of good quality. the library is huge, you can eat in it, and some areas are actually quiet. the whole campus is wireless, i can get text to my smartphone when my laundry is done washing.

” – Kristen from Fresno, CA

Monmouth University

Originally founded as a junior college, Monmouth University is a 4-year private school near the Jersey shore. Monmouth grants bachelor’s degrees in over 40 academic majors and also provides an opportunity for students to earn an undergrad and...

“…

The classes at MU are really good, especially when you get into your major. Class sizes are really small, and the professors are always willing to meet with you and are also really understanding. MU has a lot of resources if you are not doing well...

” – Stefania from Matawan, NJ

University of Idaho

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is a 4-year public school in northwest Idaho and the oldest public institution in the state. The U of I hosts 10 colleges granting undergraduate and graduate degrees in over 300 fields of study. In addition to...

“…

I am learning so much at this school! I love being at a university over a trade school, because the education I'm recieving is more rounded. I get to learn a little about everything, and I love that variety. I've taken classes from history of rock...

” – Carrie from Viola, ID

California State University-Long Beach

California State University-Long Beach is a public institution and the most applied-to campus in the 23 campus CSU system. The university is home to eight schools, with a majority of students attending the College of Business and the College of...

“…

Most of the professors I have had are genuinely interested in seeing you succeed and pass their class while enjoying it! The more professors interact with classes and strive to make it bearable through lectures, the more you'll find yourself...

” – Kim from Bella Vista, CA

University of West Georgia

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...

“…

There are always those easy classes, but for the ones that aren't so easy--learn how to use your time wisely.

” – Stephanie from Temple, GA

University of Maine

Founded in 1865, the University of Maine is a 4-year public institution and the flagship campus of the UMaine system. UMaine encompasses colleges of Business, Liberal Arts, Education, Engineering, and Natural Sciences conferring degrees in almost 100...

“…

I am currently in the Honors College which has not only improved my academics, but my views of the world and life itself. The University of Maine offers a variety of courses that allow me to learn a ton of new things. In order to get the most out of...

” – Sydney from Naples, ME

Georgia Southern University

Founded in 1906 as a land-grant college, Georgia Southern University is a public research institution and part of the University System of Georgia. GSU’s main campus at Statesboro is situation on 900 acres of land and offers more than 50...

“…

The curriculum and academics have improved dramatically over the last few years. Some of the best professors in the country are bringing years of real world experience to a school where classes are small enough to be very personable. Instructors...

” – Drew from Register, GA

University of Toledo

Founded in 1872, the University of Toledo is a public research institution in northwest Ohio and a member of the state university system of Ohio. Toledo is home to 13 colleges and schools conferring over 300 undergrad and graduate degrees. For...

“…

The professors are great at teaching and are willing to help you as long as you put forth the

” – T'relle from Canton, OH

Southern New Hampshire University

Originally conceived as a school of accounting and secretarial science, Southern New Hampshire University has grown to become a 4-year private university. SNHU confers bachelor’s degrees in more than 150 academic majors available both on campus and...

“…

Easy to apply and admissions counselors are with you every step of the way. The online class formats are self-explanatory, and you quickly learn the ins and outs. You academic adviser is constantly available and takes the initiative in knowing how...

” – Katty from Reno, NV

Coastal Carolina University

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...

“…

I am writing to inform you of the great things Coastal Carolina University has done for me. I'm sure many of people have mentioned how college will be some of the best years of one life, because that is what was told to me before I entered college...

” – Davon from Charleston, SC