Easiest Colleges to Get Into: 10 Best Schools for Students With Low SAT Scores

If you are among the 43% who got the average SAT score this year, don’t panic.  There are colleges and universities that don’t take your SAT scores at face value.

These schools recognize that not all strong students do well on standardized tests. More importantly, these colleges believe that students’ potentials are not defined by their test scores.

What follows is a list of the ten easiest colleges to get into even with a low SAT score.

easiest colleges to get into


1. Pitzer College Claremont, CA

Rank: #35 in National Liberal Arts Colleges

Acceptance Rate: 15.68%

Popular Majors:  Political Science, English, Media Studies and Art

Financial Aid: grants, loans and employment funds

SAT: Not required for students in top 10% of the class or with a 3.5 GPA or higher


Pitzer College is an undergraduate member of the Claremont Colleges network, sharing its resources with the other four. About three-quarters of its students study abroad, mostly through its specialty programs. Student to teacher ratio is 11:1 and the school is particularly strong in the social sciences. Most notable alumni include Fabian Nuñez, John Landgraf and Debra Yang.



2. Bowdoin College Brunswick, ME

Rank:  #4 in National Liberal Arts Colleges

Acceptance Rate: 15.8%

Popular Majors: Political Science, English, Anthropology, Economics, History and Biology

Financial Aid:  scholarships, grants and student employment

SAT:  Optional


Bowdoin was one of the first selective schools to make SAT and ACT optional in 1969. More than half of its students study abroad through more than 100 of its affiliated programs.  A chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society was awarded to the college for its excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Its most famous alumni include former US President Franklin Pierce, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Melville Weston Fuller and Alfred Kinsey.



3. College of the Holy Cross Worcester, MA

Rank:  #25 in National Liberal Arts Colleges

Acceptance Rate: 33.54%

Popular Majors: Mathematics, English, Biology, Chemistry, Political Science, History, Spanish, Economics, Sociology and Psychology

Financial Aid:  scholarships, grants, loans, work-study employment

SAT:  Optional


Highly selective, The College of the Holy Cross has excellent student retention and graduation rate at 90%. Like Bowdoin, a Phi Beta Kappa chapter was awarded to the school for its excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Its student to teacher ratio is 10:1 and ranks consistently as one of nations’ top Catholic colleges. Its most notable alumni are John Favreau, Chris Matthews and Clarence Thomas.



4. Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC

Rank:  #23 in National Universities

Acceptance Rate: 33.97%

Popular Majors: Kinesiology, Communication Studies, Political Science, Psychology, History, Finance, Biology, Economics and English

Financial Aid:  need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships

SAT:  Optional for SAT I, Recommended for SAT II


One of the top private universities in the Southeast, Wake Forest University has an accomplished athletic team, specifically in basketball at the Atlantic Coast Conference. The University does not only do well in athletics. It is also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, recognized for its excellence in liberal arts and sciences. About 60% of its students study abroad in 70 countries and its most famous alumni are Muggsy Bogues, Arnold Palmer and Al Hunt.



5. Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA

Rank:  #38 in National Liberal Arts Colleges

Acceptance Rate: 42.08%

Popular Majors: Anthropology, International Relations, Art History, Environmental Science, English, Psychology, Political Science, Economics, Biology and History

Financial Aid:  merit-based and need-based aid

SAT:  Optional


The oldest member of the all-female Seven Sisters League of Colleges, Mount Holyoke does not require its applicants to send in SAT scores. The school gives multiple opportunities for students to complete internships, work experience or noncredit courses through its several week-breaks. More than 70% of students find work on campus and its first-year student retention is at 92%. Most famous alumni include Emily Dickinson, Nita Lowey and Mona Sutphen.



6. Smith College Northampton, MA

Rank:  #20 in National Liberal Arts Colleges

Acceptance Rate: 42.43%

Popular Majors: Neuroscience, Engineering, Economics, American Studies, Psychology, Sociology, English, Biology, Art History and Political Science

Financial Aid:  student loans, student employment, grant, merit and outside aids

SAT:  Optional


Smith is a part of the Five College Consortium which includes UMass Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Amherst. Students may take classes at any of these institutions easily. The school is also a member of the Seven Sisters League of Colleges. Its undergraduate programs are only available for female students while its graduate programs accept both genders. Its most notable alumni include Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Sylvia Plath, Julia Child and Margaret Mitchell.



7. University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX

Rank:  #52 in National Universities

Acceptance Rate: 46.75%

Popular Majors: Radio and Television, Advertising, Communication Studies, Psychology, Interdisciplinary Studies, History, Political Science, English, Biology, Finance, Electrical Engineering and Economics

Financial Aid:  grants, scholarships, work-study, loans and short-term loans

SAT:  No minimum test score required


One of the largest schools in the nation, UT-Austin is the flagship campus of the Texas university system. Its McCombs School of Business is highly regarded and its Longhorn athletic program is one of the best in the country. The school also offers hundreds of study abroad programs in France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and China. Its most famous alumni include Matthew McConaughey, Roger Clemens and Laura Bush.



8. Arcadia University Glenside, PA

Rank:  #48 in Regional Universities (North)

Acceptance Rate: 56.6%

Popular Majors: Sociology, Biology, Psychology, Business Administration, English, Communication Studies, Elementary Education and Drama

Financial Aid: federal and state grants, academic and/or co-curricular merit scholarships, student loans and campus employment and outside scholarships

SAT:  No minimum test score required


Arcadia University encourages its students to study and see the world by offering more than 100 study-abroad programs. One program, the Preview for Freshmen, allows students to travel extensively with their classmates during spring break for class credits. Average class size at the university is only about 16 and the student to teacher ratio is 13:1. Most notable alumni include M. Susan Savage, Dorothy Germain Porter and Anna Deavere Smith.



9. Sewanee, The University of the South Sewanee, TN

Rank:  #38 in National Liberal Arts Colleges

Acceptance Rate: 58.77%

Popular Majors:  Psychology, Economics, Political Science, Biology, English, Global Studies and History

Financial Aid:  scholarships, grants, need-based aid and other aids

SAT: Optional for SAT I, recommended for SAT II


The University is Episcopal by religious affiliation, although its School of Theology is open to all faiths. Professors, not grad students, handle classes and Sewanee boasts of an 11:1 student to teacher ratio. The University has also produced 25 Rhodes scholars from a pool of just 1,500 students. It is also home to The Sewanee Writers Conference and The Sewanee Review. Its most distinguished alumni include Jon Meacham, Stephen Alvarez, Rev. Edmond Browning and Rev. John Maury Allin.



10.  Hampshire College Amherst, MA

Rank:  #110 in National Liberal Arts Colleges

Acceptance Rate: 63.69%

Popular Majors:  Self-designed

Financial Aid:  grants, scholarships, need-based and merit aids

SAT:  Optional

Hampshire College is a member of the Five College Consortium and prides itself in being innovative. The school’s website lists down characteristics of future Hampshire College students which include “You make up new words. You get people to actually use these words” among others. The school evaluates students qualitatively and not quantitatively. If you like thinking out of the box, this school is perfect for you. Its most notable alumni include Edward Humes, Liev Schreiber, Barry Sonnenfeld and Jessamyn West.

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