Carleton College Admission Requirements

Northfield, Minnesota

Chances of getting into Carleton College

Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate
Admission Difficulty for Carleton College
Measure Difficulty
Admission StandardsElite
Applicant CompetitionVery High

How hard is it to get into Carleton College and can I get accepted? The school has a 20% acceptance rate ranking it #1 in Minnesota for lowest rate of acceptance. Last year, 1,407 out of 7,092 applicants were admitted making Carleton College a very highly competitive school to get into with a low chance of acceptance for typical applicants.  Academically, it has exceptionally high requirements for admission test scores, generally admitting students who score in the top 6 percent. Carleton College typically accepts and attracts "A-" average high school students. Only 38% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school. Most incoming freshmen graduated in the top quarter of their high school class.

Can you get in?

Find out which students are getting accepted at Carleton College, which are not, and how your GPA, SAT, or ACT scores compare.

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Carleton College SAT Scores

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range
Applicants Submitting SAT
SAT Scores for Carleton College
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 25th 670
SAT Math 25th 680
SAT Composite 25th 1350
SAT Scores for Carleton College
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 75th 750
SAT Math 75th 780
SAT Composite 75th 1530
Average SAT Score 1440

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for students to be admitted to Carleton College?

Carleton College typically requires applicants to be in the top 8 percent of SAT test takers. The school consistently takes SAT composite scores down to 1350 on a 1600 scale, below which admission should be considered a reach. We estimate some students could be accepted with SAT's as low as 1260. The estimated average SAT composite for admitted freshman is 1440 out of 1600. The school ranks #1 in Minnesota for highest average SAT composite score. 52 percent of applicants submit SAT scores to the school.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2018 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

Carleton College admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness Admission Chances
1530 and Above Good >30%
1440 to 1530 Avg + 20%-30%
1350 to 1440 Avg - 13%-20%
1260 to 1350 Reach 8%-13%
Less than 1260 Low <8%
Calculate My Chances 

Carleton College ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range
Applicants Submitting ACT
ACT Scores for Carleton College
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 25th N/A
ACT Math 25th N/A
ACT Composite 25th 31
ACT Scores for Carleton College
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 75th N/A
ACT Math 75th N/A
ACT Composite 75th 34
Average ACT Score 32

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for prospective students to get into Carleton College?

Admission data indicates that Carleton College regularly accepts students with ACT's of 31 and above. Successful applicants typically send ACT scores in the top 5 percent nationally. We estimate the school accepting minimum ACT composite scores around 30 in some instances. Prospective students submitting an ACT composite of 32 or higher should be in the upper half of applicants - and students with a 34 and above have very competitive chances. The school ranks #1 in Minnesota for highest average ACT composite score. 57 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Carleton College.

Data Sources, IPEDS for Fall 2018 starting class

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Carleton College admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness Admission Chances
34 and Above Good >34%
32 to 34 Avg + 20%-34%
31 to 32 Avg - 15%-20%
30 to 31 Reach 11%-15%
Less than 30 Low <11%
Calculate My Chances 

Carleton College GPA

Estimated GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA
Typical High School Grades

What GPA do you need to get into Carleton College?

Applicants require exceptionally good grades to get into Carleton College. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at Carleton College was 3.9 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily A- students are accepted and ultimately attend. The school ranks #1 in Minnesota for highest average GPA. Meeting these GPA requirements alone is not enough to gain admission as Carleton College is a very selective school.

 What do these ratings mean?

*This school has not released high school GPA data for its incoming freshmen. In these cases, CollegeSimply employs an artificial intelligence (AI) process to predict GPA based on this school's test scores and a large sample of other colleges' data. 3.9 is an estimate of the school's average incoming freshman GPA.

High School Class Rank

79% of Carleton College freshman were in the top ten percent of their high school graduating class.

High School Class Rank for admitted Carleton College students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 79%
Top 25% of class 96%
Top 50% of class 100%
Bottom 50% of class 0%
Bottom 25% of class 0%
Data Source, Wintergreen Orchard House


Admission Statistics

Carleton College admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 3,701 3,391 7,092
Accepted 751 656 1,407
Acceptance Rate 20% 19% 20%
Enrolled 265 264 529
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 35% 40% 38%

Fall 2020 Application Deadline

Applications were Due
Jan 15, 2020
Days left to Apply

The application deadline for Fall 2020 has passed. Applications were due on Jan 15, 2020.

Admission Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Carleton College and what student information is used for admission decisions?

Carleton College Admission Requirements
Test Scores Required
High School GPA Recommended
High School Class Rank Recommended
Completion of College Preparatory Program Recommended
Recommendations Required
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Carleton College
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences No

Other Colleges to Consider

Other Colleges to Consider
Subject Percent of Class
Macalester College

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Grinnell College

Grinnell, Iowa

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana

Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, Missouri

Oberlin College

Oberlin, Ohio

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=173258 IPEDS survey data for Carleton College.


Does Carleton College prefer SAT or ACT?

52% of students submit their SAT scores to Carleton College. 57% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

What is my chance of getting into Carleton College?

20% of those who apply are granted admission to Carleton College. Admission competition is very high and the college has elite admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

What SAT score is required for Carleton College?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1350 and 1530. 52% of students submit SAT scores when applying. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

What ACT score is required for Carleton College?

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 31 and 34. 57% of students submit ACT scores when applying. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.

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