10 Colleges for Non-Straight-A Students

April 11, 2016

As the college application process starts, you often hear about the standard schools. Stanford, Harvard, and Yale usually run the show, with other elite schools following close behind. But let’s be honest - those schools are only a good fit for a handful of students. Where do you fall if you’re a good student with solid academics and test scores? Here are a few top schools for the non-straight A students:

Emerson College (Boston, MA): Surrounded by historic downtown Boston, Emerson is largely known for its strong communications and arts programs. If you’re looking for a school with a long history of success within the liberal arts, Emerson is a good place to look.

Average SAT: 1870 (2400)

Average ACT: 28

Average GPA: 3.6

Acceptance Rate: 49%

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign (Champaign, IL): Accepting 62% of applicants in 2015, UIUC has over 1,000 student organizations and 17 different schools and colleges. Whether you’re looking to be an engineer (most popular major on campus) or are interested in other majors, Illinois has it all.

Average SAT: 1320 (1600)

Average ACT: 29

Average GPA: -

Acceptance Rate: 62%

University of Richmond (Richmond, VA): Though it’s a smaller suburban school, Richmond has a ton of life. Almost half of the students major in business, management, and marketing, some of the strongest majors at the school.

Average SAT: 1975 (2400)

Average ACT: 30

Average GPA: 3.6

Acceptance Rate: 31%

Brandeis University (Waltham, MA): Brandeis is located less than 10 miles from downtown Boston, so it’s still close to all of the hustle and bustle. Though the nearly 4,000 students don’t gravitate towards one major in particular, Brandeis is a strong academic school.

Average SAT: 1280 (1600)

Average ACT: 29

Average GPA: -

Acceptance Rate: 38%

North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC): NC State is home to a very strong engineering school, with almost 25% of undergraduate students major in engineering. It is one of North Carolina’s public school systems, with Raleigh being the main campus.

Average SAT: 1251 (1600)

Average ACT: 29

Average GPA: 3.58

Acceptance Rate: 38%

SUNY Binghamton (Binghamton, NY): This mid-size school is one of the best in the State University of New York network. Binghamton’s student body is quite diverse, with a majority studying the social sciences.

Average SAT: 1300 (1600)

Average ACT: 29

Average GPA: 3.45

Acceptance Rate: 44%

UC Davis (Davis, CA): UC Davis is on the larger side, with just under 30,000 enrolled students. With a student body of that size, it’s no wonder that Davis offers almost 200 undergraduate and graduate majors and programs. If you’re looking for options, Davis is a great place to check out.

Average SAT: 1290 (1600)

Average ACT: 29

Average GPA: -

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ): Rutgers is a unique option, as the main campus in New Brunswick is actually split into five different mini-campuses. They all have their own personality, but function as one university. The New Jersey state university is most popular amongst humanities majors, though they offer all different majors and programs.

Average SAT: 1280 (1600)

Average ACT: 28

Average GPA: 3.8 (Weighted)

Acceptance Rate: 38%

University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL): UCF is the second largest university in the country, with over 50,000 students on campus. With a competitive athletic program and strong academics, UCF is a great option if you’re looking to head down south.

Average SAT: 1261 (1600)

Average ACT: 27

Average GPA: 4.0 (Weighted)

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH): From big to small, Xavier is one of the oldest Jesuit universities in the US. If you’re a fan of college basketball and are looking for strong liberal arts majors, Xavier is worth a look.

Average SAT: 1130 (1600)

Average ACT: 25

Average GPA: 3.55

Acceptance Rate: 72%

About The Author

AdmitSee Staff
AdmitSee Staff

​We remember our frustration with applying to college and the lack of information surrounding it. So we created AdmitSee to bring much-needed transparency to the application process! Read more about the team here.




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ClaireL
UCLA ‘20


Accepted to UCLA, Cornell, CMU, USC, UCSD, UC Davis

UCLA Class of 2020. Orange County native. I like math and music!
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WashU ‘20


Accepted to WashU, CMU, GA Tech, UGA

Aspiring Communication Design and Computer Science student, food lover extraordinaire
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Fordham ‘20


Accepted to American, Fordham, Skidmore, Syracuse, UC Irvine, UCSB

Hi there! I went to an American school in Hong Kong from K-12 and will be starting my freshman year at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in the fall. If you're interested in theater and come from overseas, I would be of particular help to you!
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USC ‘19


Accepted to USC, NYU, UMich, UCSD, Rochester, BC, BU, Miami OH, Loyola U Chicago, Miami, U of Minnesota, Drexel, Illinois

Typical Student from Chicago who has had the best of the American/Hispanic Culture. As well, I applied to 25 schools

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