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Acceptable SAT score for International Students

US is a great education destination, especially for undergraduate and graduate programs and courses. As you must be aware, for getting admission into undergraduate colleges and university in the country, students have to take the SAT (or the ACT) exam and submit the scores for the same to the colleges. The scores are sent directly by the College Board. International students, aspiring to study in the US undergraduate colleges, also have to sit for the SAT reasoning test or SAT subject tests. The scores obtained in these exams would determine their admission eligibility.

International students often ask this question: what is a good SAT score to get into an Ivy League college or Stanford college? What is average SAT score for university for international students?

The clear cut answer for this is that the minimum or acceptable SAT score varies from one college to another, but there is hardly any college that discriminates between a US student and an international student on the basis of same SAT score.

Yet, talking about SAT scores for Ivy League colleges, if you aspire to apply at Radcliffe or Harvard, then you need to get somewhere between 2080 and 2400 SAT score. Harvard especially attracts the top 10 percent of the US high school seniors, a good number of whom get above 2300 SAT score.

Stanford, Wharton, NYU etc also have a similar story to tell. According to the data released by the Stanford university on its admissions FAQ site, more than 70 percent of its students scored SAT scores between 700 and 800 for all the three sections, mainly mathematics, critical reading and writing.

However, US undergraduate education is not merely about studying at Harvard or Stanford. There are other good colleges that accept SAT scores in the range of 1500 to 2000. Average SAT score as such for everybody is 1500 but everybody knows that it isn’t just good enough. International students are encouraged to work hard and get high SAT scores to complement their impressive GPAs and admission essays.

Stress on SAT math score

Undergraduate universities and colleges in the US emphasize upon higher SAT math scores and give a kind of relaxation to the international students in case of critical reading and writing. This is so because the admissions committees make room for the fact that the students may not be from native English speaking country or school, in which case they may or may not be required to appear for the TOEFL exam.

However, a good SAT match score is a must, somewhere in the range of 690 to 770. If you get low scores in critical reading or writing, then you may be required to take up extra credit language subjects or programs during your freshman year so as to improve your fluency, diction and comprehension. Universities are happy with a SAT verbal score between 650 and 750, and SAT writing score between 450 and 650.

  1. Yasmin
    November 1st, 2012 at 07:52 | #1

    As an international student, would I get financial aid in Harvard or any other Ivy League Uni? I know that they offer minimum financial aid, and only for those deeply in need. Given the huge gap between Saudi Riyal and the U.S. dollar, a person who is in the middle class over cannot simply afford the expenses. So what are my options? I know a lot of U.S. universities take interest in international students because they care about diversity. Does that fact maybe make me a little more on their good side, with a good S.A.T score and and a GPA of 4? And how good is an S.A.T score supposed to be to get considered for a merit- based scholarship? Will a 2080 do? I also have some extraculliculars up my sleeve. What are my odd???
    Hope u reply! xD

  2. Anon Ymous
    January 4th, 2013 at 18:09 | #2

    As an international student applying for financial aid, the only Ivy not discriminating between US citizens and internationals is Harvard. Their admission policies are need-blind for all applicants, so it’s probably your best go.

    As a general rule, however, I suggest simply visiting the respective universities’ websites, go to undergraduate admission, international students, financial aid and real all about their policies. If you are aiming for such a university, doing that research should not put you off.

    Good luck from a fellow international applicant.

  3. Anonymous
    February 2nd, 2013 at 04:39 | #3

    Just to clarify – Princeton, Yale and Dartmouth are all also need blind for international students and although not ivies, MIT and Amherst are also need blind for internationals so Harvard is not the only one.

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