ACT Scholarships for 2024

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What is the ACT and why does it matter to colleges and other scholarship providers? The ACT is a national college admissions examination. In detail, it measures students’ skills, knowledge, and potential across four areas:

  1. Math
  2. Science
  3. English
  4. Reading

The way the ACT scoring works is on a scale of 1–36. The scoring applies to each of the four sections. Your composite ACT score is an average of your 4 section scores.

How do you figure out if a scholarship has an ACT requirement? Each scholarship you find spells out who is eligible to apply. In addition, ACT scholarships may give out funds based on your academic standing.

These may spell out specific grades and test scores. But some also list test scores as optional. In this case (and if yours are above the norm) it may be useful to include them. Or, speak with someone from the scholarship committee for guidance.

So, what is a good ACT score for a scholarship? A “good” ACT score depends on the colleges and universities you want to apply to.

The highest possible score on the ACT is 36. The current national average ACT score is 21. This means some states have higher than average scores. Others by default, have lower scores. There are also different averages for each subject:

% of Graduates Tested Average Composite Score English Score Math Score Reading Score Science Score
60 21.0 20.3 20.7 21.4 21.0

To find more ACT scholarships you can also make a list of colleges you want to apply to. Then see if they list any merit scholarships. If that doesn’t help, you can back track and check the school’s financial aid page.

10 ACT Scholarships You Should Apply for in 2024

There are hundreds of merit based awards that look at your ACT test scores. Some ACT score scholarships could help lower your school debt. Check out these ten scholarships based on ACT that you can apply for now.

  1. Jackie Robinson Scholarship
  2. Paul Psongas Scholarship
  3. CIA Undergraduate Scholarship Program
  4. Tennessee HOPE Scholarship
  5. University of North Georgia Military Scholarship
  6. 5 Strong Scholarship
  7. McConnell Scholarship for Future Leaders
  8. NJCPA High School Scholarships
  9. American Indian Education Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship
  10. The Anthony Muñoz Scholarship Fund

What ACT Scores Do Colleges Look for?

A score of 23 on the ACT is above the current national average. As such, it may make you a strong applicant at many universities. On the other hand, it may fall below the average score for accepted students at some selective colleges.

For example, scoring above 30 puts you in the 90th percentile of ACT test takers. As a result, you scored above 90 out of a hundred others who took the same test. If your ACT score is higher, then more options may be open to you.

A few examples of ACT score ranges for colleges and universities:

College or University ACT Composite Score 75% Percentile ACT Composite Score 25% Percentile
Duke University 33 35
Baylor University 26 31
Texas A & M University, San Antonio 17 19
Columbia University, NYC 33 35
Harvard University 33 35
University of Pennsylvania 32 35
Quinnipiac University 23 28
Santa Clara University 28 32
Loyola University Chicago 25 30
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota 20 26
University of Colorado 25 31
Yale University 33 35
University of Tennessee, Knoxville 25 31

Can You Get Scholarships with a Below Average ACT score?

In many states, the average composite score is below 20. So, there may be scholarships available if you score a 21 on the ACT. For example, the CIA Undergraduate Scholarship pays $18,000 per year.

However, the score you need to get a scholarship depends on the college you apply to. The location (state) of the college may also play a role.

Let’s take a look at 13 states where the average ACT score is below 20:

State Average Composite Score
Alabama 19.2
Alaska 19.8
Arkansas 19.4
Florida 19.8
Hawaii 19.0
Louisiana 19.5
Mississippi 18.6
Nevada 17.8
New Mexico 19.7
North Carolina 19.1
Oklahoma 19.4M
South Carolina 18.7
Tennessee 19.8

What is the Minimum ACT Score for Scholarships?

There may be many scholarships you qualify for with ACT scores in the low 20’s. It depends on which colleges you are looking at. Many colleges assess you on your score range.

For instance, scholarships by ACT score with common ranges are below. There are many more, but this shows that at each range, scholarships exist. Therefore, ACT scores from 26 to 30 may open up avenues that a range of 18-21 may not. Or, they may enable you to be eligible to receive more funds.

ACT Score Range Scholarship Examples by ACT Score
10 to 15 AIEF Scholarship
16 to 20 Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship
21 to 25 Jackie Robinson Scholarship
26 to 30 Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) Scholarship
31 to 36 Craig and Galen Brown Foundation Scholarship. Also many universities use this range to award full ride scholarships

Why Consider Using ACT Scores for a Merit Scholarship?

More than 1.9 million people took the ACT test in 2018. One study reports that a decade ago, one of every 2,600 students got a perfect score. In 2018, one of every 500 students nailed a perfect score.

But you don’t have to get a perfect ACT score to get a merit scholarship. Otherwise, all 4 year colleges and universities in the United States accept ACT test scores.

Here are a few other reasons to use your ACT scores for merit scholarships:

  • Taking the ACT may help boost your chances of winning a scholarship from colleges and scholarship organizations.
  • Some colleges award scholarships based on your ACT scores. For example, Baylor University offer scholarships ranging from $40,000 to $84,000 based on a combination of test scores, class rank, and GPA.
  • Higher test scores may also lead to more scholarship dollars. For instance, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville offers $5,000 awards per year for ACT scores between 34 to 36.
  • Being rewarded for good grades is one way to make college more affordable. At last check, the average amount of scholarship and grant aid received by undergrads is $11,810.
  • Unlike a loan, you do not have to pay back ACT scholarship funds. Though you do have to abide by their terms. You should also strive to maintain a specific GPA.
  • Certain ACT/SAT scores may place you in the running for a full ride scholarship.
  • Recipients and finalists of the National Merit Scholarship may also be eligible for other awards and aid. The National Merit Scholarship looks at PSAT scores.

Which Test is Better for Scholarships?

Both ACT and SAT scores may be a factor for college admissions decisions and for awarding merit based scholarships.

In general, the ACT and SAT tests cover the same topics. Moreover, many colleges do not prefer one test over the other. Overall, for some students the decision boils down to one of comfort. You may want to take a full length practice test to help you decide or take both tests as many students do.

List of 2024 ACT Scholarships

Check out our list of over 4,070 ACT scholarships worth $8M.

Daniels Scholarship Program

This scholarship is open to U.S. high school seniors who reside and attend high school in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, or Wyoming. Students must have an ACT score of 17 or higher in each section or an SAT score of 840 or higher, and must demonstrate financial need. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total:  $40000

Awards:  2


Deadline:  November 15

Phi Beta Kappa Alumni of Tampa Scholarship (Hillsborough)

This scholarship is available for high school seniors in Hillsborough County, Florida who have a grade point average of 3.8 or higher and a combined math and verbal SAT score of 1300 or higher.
Award Amount

Total:  $3500

Awards:  1


Deadline:  January 31

American Indian Education Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship

This Fund was set up to support educational opportunities for American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students. Scholarships of up to $2,000 per year are paid directly to a recipient’s college/university. Grantees must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0 and submit grades to AIEF each semester.
Award Amount

Total:  $45000000

Awards:  150


Deadline:  April 04

Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

The Actuarial Diversity Scholarship promotes diversity within the profession through an annual scholarship program for Black/African American, Hispanic, Native North American and Pacific Islander college students intent on a career in the actuarial profession.
Award Amount

Total:  $4000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  April 16

Burger King Scholars Program

Through the Burger King? Scholars Program, we have awarded nearly $60 million to over 45,000 students across North America since 2000. Our goal is to grant one scholarship for every BK restaurant in North America –that translates to more than $7 million each year! ? Created in memory of Burger King Co-Founder James “Jim” W. McLamore, the Burger King? Scholars program provides scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $60,000 to high school students and BK employees and their families. Scholarships are intended to offset the cost of attending college or post-secondary vocational/technical school. Recipients are selected through an application process that takes into consideration their grade point average (GPA), work experience, extracurricular activities, and community service. In 2022 alone, the Foundation awarded over $4.6 million in scholarships to nearly 4,000 students. ?
Award Amount

Total:  $14800000000

Awards:  3700


Deadline:  December 15

Jackie Robinson Annual Scholarship

The Jackie Robinson Foundation provides a multi-faceted experience designed to address financial needs of minority students pursuing an education. U.S minority high school seniors with SAT scores of 1000 or higher or ACT scores of 21 or higher are eligible. Financial need and other factors will be taken in consideration.
Award Amount

Total:  $30000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  January 11

Paul Tsongas Scholarship Program

This award is available to Massachusetts high school students who are planning to attend one of the nine state colleges in Massachusetts. The student must be enrolled within three years after high school graduation and have a GPA of 3.75 or higher and a SAT score of at least 1200 (or the ACT equivalent).
Award Amount

Total:  $1440000

Awards:  45


Deadline:  January 11

Beinecke Scholarship Program

This award is available for U.S. college juniors who are planning to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in the arts, humanities or the social sciences and must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Students must currently attend and be nominated by one of the participating colleges or universities.
Award Amount

Total:  $34000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  February 09

The Craig and Galen Brown Foundation Awards Scholarship

The Craig and Galen Brown Foundation Awards Scholarship is for incoming freshman at Texas A&M University. More than 400 scholarships have been awarded to achieving, well-rounded high school students who were recognized as National Merit semifinalists and majoring in STEM or business. Academic excellence should be maintained.
Award Amount

Total:  $9000

Awards:  3


Deadline:  December 01

Coca-Cola Scholarship Program

Coca-Cola Scholars are well-rounded, passionate, service-oriented, and demonstrate a sustained commitment to bettering their communities. U.S. High school seniors are eligible to apply. Children or grandchildren of employees, officers or owners of Coca-Cola bottling companies or subsidiaries are ineligible.
Award Amount

Total:  $450000000

Awards:  150


Deadline:  October 31