If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.
Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.
The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.
(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.
If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.65, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.
Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.
VCU has indicated that the SAT or ACT is required for some applicants. This can mean a few things:
- The SAT or ACT is optional, but recommended by the school to improve your application chances.
- You might be able to get admitted with through your GPA or class ranking alone.
- Only specific departments at the school require the SAT or ACT.
If you're applying to this and other schools, it's safest to take the SAT or ACT. This will maximize your chance of getting into the best school possible, especially since most other students will be submitting their scores.
VCU SAT Requirements
Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.
The average SAT score composite at VCU is a 1165 on the 1600 SAT scale.
This score makes VCU Competitive for SAT test scores.
VCU SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)
The 25th percentile SAT score is 1070, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1260. In other words, a 1070 on the SAT places you below average, while a 1260 will move you up to above average.
Here's the breakdown of SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
|Reading + Writing||595||550||640|
SAT Score Choice Policy
The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.
VCU ACT Requirements
Just like for the SAT, VCU likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.
The average ACT score at VCU is 25. This score makes VCU Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.
The 25th percentile ACT score is 21, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 28.
Even though VCU likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 21 or below, you'll have a harder time getting in, unless you have something else impressive in your application.
ACT Score Sending Policy
If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.
Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.
This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 21 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.
ACT Superscore Policy
By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.
However, from our research, VCU is understood to superscore the ACT. We couldn't confirm it directly from the school's admissions website, but multiple sources confirm that the school does superscore the ACT. We recommend you call their admissions office directly for more information.
Superscoring is powerful to your testing strategy, and you need to make sure you plan your testing accordingly. Of all the scores that VCU receives, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all ACT test dates you submit.
Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.
How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)
For example, say you submit the following 4 test scores:
Even though the highest ACT composite you scored on any one test date was 20, VCU will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 20 to 32 in this example.
This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and VCU forms your Superscore, you can take the ACT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.
Therefore, if your ACT score is currently below a 21, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the ACT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.
Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the ACT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will give you the highest Superscore possible.
Studying for the ACT instead? Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points?
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements
Both the SAT and ACT have an optional essay section.
VCU considers the SAT Essay/ACT Writing section optional and may not include it as part of their admissions consideration. You don't need to worry too much about Writing for this school, but other schools you're applying to may require it.
SAT Subject Test Requirements
Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.
We did not find information that VCU requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.