Which Colleges Have Students With The Highest SAT Scores?

People are led on a tour on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
People are led on a tour on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. –ELISE AMENDOLA/ AP

Three Massachusetts institutions, Harvard, MIT and Olin, were ranked among the top ten colleges that boast students with the highest standardized test scores, according to Forbes.

Forbes created a list of the top 100 colleges ranked by the schools’ SAT scores. Here are the top ten ranked by average critical reading and math SAT scores (each of the two sections are out of 800 total possible points, making the highest score possible 1600):

1. California Institute of Technology, 1545

2. University of Chicago, 1515

3. Harvard University, 1505

3. Princeton University, 1505

5. Yale University, 1500

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1500

7. Vanderbilt University, 1490

8. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, 1489

9. Washington University in St. Louis, 1485


10. Harvey Mudd College, 1480

10. Columbia University in the City of New York, 1480

Forbes points out that ranking students based off of a standardized test like the SAT or ACT is not always thought of as fair:

“After all, it has been proven that kids from wealthy families, who can afford SAT prep courses and often go to more competitive high schools, tend to get higher scores. The test is biased towards the affluent and it is often argued that a student’s high school record and GPA are more predictive of academic success. Indeed, a growing number of colleges are adopting SAT/ACT optional policies.’’

Recently Montclair State in New Jersey and Temple University in Pennsylvania made the test optional for students wanting to attend their school.

USA Today said this is happening more and more. In fact, Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., has said it will not look at any test score it receives.

But, Forbes also lists two reasons why this test is something colleges like to look at: 1) It is a good way for college to throw out applications for students who have no chance of getting in when the number of applicants is so high; and 2) Ranking websites, such as US News and World Report, use the SAT as part of their formula in ranking top schools. Forbes mentioned they do not factor the SAT in to their rankings.

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