Which Colleges Award Automatic Scholarships Based On SAT Scores?

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Merit scholarships, which are awarded based on academic excellence or excellence in other areas, can go a long way in reducing your college attendance costs. While many outside scholarships require you to submit essays or other materials to be considered for an award, some offer them automatically based on factors such as your GPA or SAT/ACT scores.


Here’s a list of colleges that offer scholarships automatically based on test scores. (Note: These scholarships are generally awarded on the basis of SAT or ACT scores but many also require a certain minimum GPA.)


A Word About the National Merit Scholarship


In addition to the $2,500 awards the roughly 7,500 National Merit Scholarship winners receive, some colleges grant additional scholarships if you list them as your first choice on your National Merit materials.


For example, Iowa State offers full tuition, while Michigan State offers full ride to these individuals. Some colleges, such as Washington State, even offer additional scholarships to National Merit finalists and semifinalists.


Automatic College Scholarships Awarded Based on SAT/ACT Scores


Alabama State University


Presidential Academic Scholarship: Full Ride

Requirements: 3.76 GPA and 26 ACT or 1240 SAT


Academic Excellence Scholarship: Full Tuition Plus (Tuition plus additional fees and books)

Requirements: 3.51 GPA and 22 ACT or 1190 SAT


Academic Incentive Scholarship: Full Tuition Plus (Tuition plus $500 for books)

Requirements: 3.00 GPA and 20 ACT or 1020 SAT



Baylor University


President’s Gold Scholarship: $19,000-22,000


Provost’s Gold Scholarship: $16,000-18,000


Dean’s Gold Scholarship: $13,000-15,000


Founder’s Gold Scholarship: $7,000-12,000


Requirements for all: Varies; estimate using this calculator.



Clemson University


Trustee Scholarship (in-state residents): $1,000

Requirements: Top 10% of class and 1270 SAT or 27 ACT


Trustee Scholarship (out-of-state residents): $7,500

Requirements: Top 10% and 1360 SAT or 29 ACT

(higher amounts available for higher scores; renewable)

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Howard University


Presidential: Tuition, Fees, Room, Board, $950 Book Voucher, & Laptop

Requirements: 3.75 GPA and 34 ACT or 1530 SAT


Founders: Tuition, Fees, Room, Board & $500 Book Voucher

Requirements: 3.50 GPA and 32 ACT or 1450 SAT


Capstone: $3,500 – $32,231

Requirements: 3.30 GPA and 28 ACT or 1270 SAT

(Renewable pending college GPA; scholarships available on a first-come, first served basis; need taken into account)



Louisiana Tech University


Many scholarships available starting at $2,000 for 23-24 ACT and 3.0-3.749 GPA. The highest scholarships available is the:


Presidential: $9,000 for 3.0-3.749 GPA and 33+ ACT or $9,500 for GPA of 3.75-4.0 and 33+ ACT



Texas State University


President’s Honor Scholarship: $26,000 to $38,000 total award

Requirements: Top 25% of graduating class or IB diploma or AP Capstone Diploma

1450 SAT or 32 ACT

Renewable pending:

  • 3.25 Cumulative Texas State GPA
  • Complete 28 passing Texas State hours/year (fall/spring)
  • Undergraduate status


Texas Achievement Scholarship: $10,000 to $22,000 Total Award

Requirements: Top 25% of graduating class or IB diploma or AP Capstone Diploma

and 1270-1440 SAT or 27-31 ACT

(Renewable pending same criteria as above)



Tuskegee University


Distinguished Presidential: Full tuition, room/board, and $800 books

Requirements: 3.7 GPA and 1390 SAT or 3.0 GPA


University Merit: Full tuition and $800 books

Requirements: 3.5 GPA and 1250 SAT or 26 ACT


Additional scholarships available for 2.8 GPA and 1000 SAT or 21 ACT.



University of Alabama-Huntsville


Charger Distinction: Full Tuition

Requirements: 3.5-4.0 GPA and 30 ACT or 1390 SAT


Charger Excellence: Full tuition and housing + an additional two years of housing

Requirements: 4.0 GPA and 36 ACT or 1600 SAT


Additional scholarships available for GPAs started at 3.00 and 25 ACT or 1200 SAT.



University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa


Presidential Scholar: Full Tuition/$25,000 for out-of-state residents

Requirements: 3.5 GPA, 32-36 ACT or 1420-1600 SAT


Presidential Elite Scholar: Full Tuition plus 1-year housing, $1k stipend-4 years,$2k summer research/study abroad, $500/yr books

Requirements: 4.0 GPA, 36 ACT or 1600 SAT



University of Louisiana-Monroe


President’s Distinguished: $10,000 + Study Abroad + iPad

Requirements: GPA 3.7 and 33-36 ACT


Smaller awards available for lower ACT and GPA combinations.


Next Steps


Make sure you look at the requirements for any scholarships for which you might be eligible thoroughly; some still require applications, while others are awarded to anyone who qualifies. You should also take note of whether you can apply them in conjunction with other scholarships you earn from outside organizations.


And work hard! Many scholarships are renewable pending minimum college GPAs.


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Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.