Carleton College: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs

This is the go-to guide for getting into Carleton College. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to Carleton College, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown Carleton College statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out Carleton College on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. If you're interesting in transferring to Carleton College, the read our transfer guide. You can also use the below calculator to help determine your likelihood of acceptance at Carleton College

What are your chances at Carleton College?

Your SAT Score
Your ACT Score
Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at Carleton College or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    What GPA do you need to get into Carleton College?

    Carleton College’s average GPA is 3.9. Carleton College does require GPA. This average GPA means Carleton College is brutally selective - the most competitive applicants in the world are already applying to the school, in hopes of taking up residence in Northfield, and, somehow, you need to be better. Generally speaking, if your GPA is not at least equal to 3.9 then Carleton College may be a reach. However, Carleton College considers the ENTIRE application - we can make up for a weak GPA with more factors that we’ll discuss below. If your GPA is equal to or greater than 3.9, you’re sitting right in the sweetspot.

    *BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. Carleton College may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on Carleton College’s campus. These Carleton College admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

    What is Carleton College’s acceptance rate?

    Last year Carleton College’s acceptance rate was 20.65. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

    2016 2017 2018
    Acceptance Rate 23.0 % 21.0 % 20.65 %

    As you can see, Carleton College is getting more and more difficult to get into. If this trend continue it’s likely that Carleton College will be even more competitive by the time you apply.

    Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into Carleton College - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

    What are your chances at Carleton College?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at Carleton College or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Does Carleton College Require Test Scores?

    Carleton College requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how Carleton College’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.

    Carleton College SAT Requirements

    Carleton College’s average SAT score is 1430 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether Carleton College is getting more or less competitive.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 660 770 715
    Reading 660 770 715
    2019 Total 1320 1540 1430
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    Carleton College’s average SAT score is 1430. To be a competitive applicant for Carleton College your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 1320, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Carleton College a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1540.

    Carleton College ACT Requirements

    Carleton College’s average ACT score is 31. To be a competitive applicant for Carleton College your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 30, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Carleton College a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 33.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 0 0 0
    Reading 0 0 0
    Writing 30 33 31
    2019 Total 30 33 31
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    How hard is it to get into Carleton College?

    As you can see from the data above, Carleton College is difficult to get into. Not only should you be aiming for a 3.9 but also SAT scores around 1430.

    Carleton College Requirements

    Now you know where you need to be for getting into Carleton College from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.

    Recommendations Status
    School Rank Recommended
    GPA Recommended
    School Record Required

    How to get into Carleton College

    Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into Carleton College. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at Carleton College, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.

    Main Academic Excellence that is in line with Carleton College admission standards.

    1. Score at least a 1430 on the SAT or 31 on the ACT.
    2. Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.9.

    Join Extracurriculars that Align with Carleton College’s Values.

    1. Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If Carleton College values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
    2. Volunteer in your hometown. Northfield has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. Carleton College wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader Northfield area in general.
    3. Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. Carleton College needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.

    Prepare Your Application

    1. Write a stellar essay that shows Carleton College something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
    2. Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your Carleton College app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
    3. Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that Carleton College’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.

    What are your chances at Carleton College?

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*
    on a 4.0 scale

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at Carleton College or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Related College & Universities:

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