Is A 30 On The ACT Good: Meaning, Percentile & Colleges

Generally, when calculating your chances of admission to a top college, your ACT scores, whether 30 above or below, can be an important consideration.

Some people believe a score of 30 is a reasonable threshold for some selective colleges, while others believe a higher score is better.

Whichever side of the fence you fall on, a 30 on the ACT is considered an excellent score. You have a high chance of getting admitted to many colleges with such a score.

When you score 30 on the ACT, it places you in the 93rd percentile and 6 points behind the highest, which is 36. It also shows that you are far from the national average, which is said to be 21.

In this article, I will discuss an ACT score of 30, its percentile, colleges likely to admit you with this score, and how to get a better ACT score.

What is the ACT?

The ACT is an entrance exam students take to get admitted into college. It is one of the requirements that many colleges look at before short-listing candidates for admission.

This exam consists of 4 sections, Mathematics, English, Reading, and Science. In some states, there is a fifth section called Writing. However, not all colleges recognize this fifth section.

The ACT is scored on a scale of 1–36 for each subject. Afterward, these scores are collated and converted into a scaled score of 36. This score is called the composite score.

According to the ACT Score National Rank, the average composite score for the ACT is 20.6. In contrast, the average for each section is listed below.

  • English: 19.9
  • Reading: 21.1
  • Math: 20.2
  • Science: 20.5.

30 ACT score: Meaning and percentile

If you scored a 30 on the ACT, you did extremely well. It places you at the 93rd percentile and shows you scored equivalent to or higher than 93% of all other people who took the test.

However, you may be less likely to be admitted into some of the most prestigious colleges. Because these colleges only accept ACT scores higher than 30.

What colleges can you get into with an ACT score of 30?

As mentioned earlier, with a 30 on the ACT score, you can get into several colleges better. Below is a list of reputable universities you can get into with a 30 on the ACT score.

Reach schools

These schools are harder to get into, but you have a strong chance with a 30 ACT score and a good grade point average.

Some of the top reputable reach schools for a 30 ACT score are;

  • Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA)
  • Villanova University (Villanova, PA)
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
  • Boston University (Boston, MA)
  • New York University (New York, NY)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA).

Match schools

Match schools are slightly less difficult to join, and you have a higher chance of getting admitted with a good GPA. However, it is still not 100% guaranteed, as other factors may come into play.

Some of the top reputable match schools for a 30 ACT score are;

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
  • Binghamton University (Vestal, NY)
  • Rochester Institution of Technology (Rochester, NY)
  • The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, TX)
  • Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY)
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst (Amherst, MA)
  • University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT)

Safety schools

Safety schools are particularly easier to get into. With a good grade point average, admission is almost certain.

Some of the top reputable safety schools for a 30 ACT score are;

  • Penn State University Park (University Park, PA)
  • Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY)
  • Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
  • United State Military Academy (West Point, NY)
  • Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY)
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, PA)
  • University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)

How can you get a 30 on the ACT?

If you want to sit for this exam for the first time or retake it, scoring 30 or higher is well within your reach. Below is a guide to help you achieve that.

1. Create a study plan

student studying - lmshero

First, you should create a study plan that balances all your activities and follows it strictly. Allow at least 2 hours of study daily, depending on your time.

Then, on weekends, allow yourself at least 4 hours of study when you have more time. Ensure you stick to this schedule, as self-discipline is crucial in achieving your goal.

2. Use a high-quality study guide

The textbook study guide will no doubt give you a good score. But you should step up your preparation to get a 30 or higher on the ACT score.

Look for a study guide prepared by a well-qualified professor, or use the official ACT prep guide to ensure the result is better.

3. Solve practice test

One way to ensure an outstanding result is by revising past questions. Ensure that you have a personal practice test after every week’s study.

After the test, please take note of the failed ones and study that section further until you understand it better.

A good practice is to highlight questions you feel are particularly challenging. This way, even if you guessed the right answer, you will remember to read more about it while reviewing your performance.

4. Don’t pressure yourself

If you aim to score high on the ACT exam, you must try as much as possible to remain calm during the exams. Many questions are tricky, and you must understand them before attempting them.

It becomes harder to understand a question if you are tense, negatively affecting your exam. Ensure you get enough rest before the exam, be calm, and make as few errors as possible.

You must also remember to review your answers before submitting them. This will help you spot any mistakes you have made so you can make corrections if needed.


What is the SAT equivalent to a 30 on the ACT?

A 30 on the ACT is equivalent to SAT score of 1370.

What is a bad ACT score?

A bad ACT score falls way below the average, which is 21.

Can a good ACT score help you win a scholarship?

Yes, it can.

A good ACT score in the 99th percentile makes you eligible for a merit-based scholarship program.

What is the ACT super score?

ACT super score is a strategy that allows a candidate to score higher than their previous ACT score.

A candidate can take the ACT exam multiple times, derive the best score, and send the best application.

Conclusion: Is a 30 on the ACT good?

The answer to this question depends on your specific situation. A 30 on the ACT is generally seen as good by colleges accepting it as part of their admissions process. A 30 on the ACT is generally considered good.

However, your ACT score may be less important if you apply to colleges that do not use the ACT or any Reach schools.

But one thing certain is that if you aim for an excellent overall college admission score, aiming for a 30 or higher is a good goal.

In addition to getting a good ACT score, you need a good GPA to stand out when applying to college. You should read this article on how to get a good GPA of 3.5.

Thanks for reading.