Colleges That Do Not Require the SAT: Knowing Your Best Options

Having a list of the best colleges that do not require the SAT is something every student needs.

Standardized testing can be a challenge, especially for students who are proficient in their coursework but not when it comes to tests.

Fortunately, many schools across the U.S. don’t require SAT scores for admission.

In this guide, we have curated a list of 10 amazing programs that don’t require SAT results.

Each of these schools meets the following criteria:

  • An average annual cost of no more than $57,000
  • A median starting salary no lower than $30,000
  • Accredited programs by recognized bodies

10 Best Colleges That Do Not Require the SAT

1. North Carolina State University

4 Year; Raleigh, NC

Average Annual Cost: $16,411

North Carolina State University is one of the best public research universities in North Carolina.

The school was founded in 1887 and has grown to be one of the world’s top one percent of universities.

You will also find that it offers a premier opportunity for students looking for a research-led program.

Another massive benefit of the school is that it hosts an assortment of academic programs for students to consider.

With over 100 majors, there are many learning opportunities you can choose from, including agriculture and humanities.

Students can also explore life sciences, engineering, design, and more.

Regarding degree options, North Carolina State University currently has undergraduate to doctorate programs.

You can also find professional certificates to help further your existing education or career.

With a diverse curriculum, students will earn both in-class and hands-on learning opportunities at North Carolina State University.

2. Montana State University

4 Year; Bozeman, MT

Average Annual Cost: $19,453

Plenty of great stats make Montana State University one of the top schools that don’t require SAT scores.

It has over 250 undergraduate programs paired with 115 graduate programs.

It is also considered the top research entity in the state, making it an ideal choice for STEM students.

You can find an assortment of job-focused programs (over 20) to help you get gainful employment after graduation.

With a curriculum that helps guide students from their freshman year to graduation, there’s no doubt that Montana State University is highly competitive.

Many of its learning pathways focus on assisting students in thinking and working outside the classroom.

As mentioned, there are a wide collection of programs and degrees students can enroll in that cover numerous topics.

You can consider a Bachelor of Science in Business or even a minor in Aerospace.

There are also graduate certificates to consider, helping you explore a specialty in your industry for more profitable employment opportunities.

3. Hampshire College

4 Year; Amherst, MA

Average Annual Cost: $19,854

Hampshire College is an inclusive school in Massachusetts that focuses on preparing students for their future lives.

It is also known to focus less on students’ standardized testing scores and more on their lifelong knowledge.

This school was originally founded in 1965 as a way to reimagine the future of liberal arts education

Today, it has some of the most creative and unconventional learning opportunities to help accommodate all types of students.

Undoubtedly, you will learn in traditional classroom environments, but there are also co-op and hands-on learning experiences.

Upon graduation, students will feel like highly trained professionals in their field of study.

Some of the most popular course options available at Hampshire College include:

  • Architecture
  • Marine Science
  • Applied Design
  • Legal Studies
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Agriculture
  • Psychology
  • Animal Behavior and Cognition
  • Theatre
  • Art History

What makes Hampshire College unique is its student-designed curriculum.

Working alongside a counselor, you will have help in choosing the curriculum that best suits your needs.

You will be able to design a pathway that focuses on independent work, faculty collaboration, study abroad opportunities, internships, and more.

4. Cornell College

4 Year; Mount Vernon, IA

Average Annual Cost: $23,694

Cornell College is another fantastic option for students seeking unconventional learning methods.

Instead of simply selecting one major, this school allows students to enroll in a double major.

As you can imagine, this is essential if there are two distinct areas of study you want to focus on at the same time.

By taking a different approach to learning, students will find that they will become a part of an inclusive liberal arts school.

You will learn the fundamentals of becoming leaders while also focusing on your ideal avenue of study.

When you graduate from Cornell College, you will have hands-on and theoretical knowledge to assist you in your career and all other endeavors.

Unlike other colleges and universities, Cornell College uses a block plan structure called “One Course At A Time.”

With this program, you will take one class per 18-day block, allowing you to immerse yourself in one subject independently.

At the same time, it helps grant you specialist knowledge in all areas of study.

5. Colorado College

4 Year; Colorado Springs, CO

Average Annual Cost: $24,703

If you love the idea of block plan learning, Colorado College is another college to consider.

Its curriculum is designed to allow students to study a single class at a time. You will focus on one topic for three and a half weeks, then move on to a second and third.

The curriculum structure is unique, allowing eight study blocks per year. Plus, there are also block breaks of four days in between each course.

Using this process, students can acquire deeper knowledge of various tenets because they focus on one thing at a time.

The incredible number of courses available at Colorado College makes it a highly competitive school that doesn’t require SAT scores.

Its liberal arts studies range from language learning to working on the Colorado College on-campus farm.

Students can also apply for venture grants, allowing them to travel the world and explore various educational concepts.

Colorado College is home to over 42 majors and 33 minors designed to challenge the students’ views of a diverse collection of subjects.

There are multiple departments with unique specialties you can focus on for a future career. Some of the most popular areas of study for students include:

  • Film and Media
  • English
  • Economics and Business
  • Environmental Studies
  • French
  • Human Biology and Kinesiology
  • Religion
  • Psychology
  • Political Science

Another massive benefit of Colorado College is that it has plenty of athletic opportunities outside of liberal arts studies.

Students can participate in club sports, varsity athletics, and other intramural activities.

If you prefer more independent exercise, you will appreciate the Adam F. Press Fitness Center or the Manitou Incline for a phenomenal outdoor activity.

6. Bates College

4 Year; Lewiston, ME

Average Annual Cost: $26,392

Bates College is one of the best options for students looking for a diverse field within a community of like-minded students.

The entire program is designed to ensure all students have equal access to education, which is mainly why it doesn’t consider SAT scores.

Another massive tenet of enrolling at Bates College is social responsibility, which means caring for one’s community.

One of the largest advantages of the curriculum at this college is that it focuses on reflection and personal growth.

Upon graduation, students will not only be well-versed in a specialty but also be a better version of themselves.

Currently, the school offers dozens of minors and majors to consider, including:

  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Asian Studies
  • Latin
  • Engineering
  • Sociology
  • Dance
  • Chemistry
  • American Studies

Bates College is currently home to approximately 2000 students, offering a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

To learn from the best in the industry, Bates College made sure 100% of its faculty members have the highest degree in their teaching field.

It is also home to zero sororities and fraternities, offering equal opportunities to all students.

Bates College is ideal if you are on the hunt for a school that can support your desire to study abroad.

Nearly 60% of their student body studies abroad during academics, giving you worldwide experience in your specialty.

When you graduate, you will have the universal knowledge needed to be the best in your field.

7. Pitzer College

4 Year; Claremont, CA

Average Annual Cost: $29,195

Pitzer College is a fantastic school to consider if you’re looking for an institution that doesn’t consider SAT scores.

It has over 40 avenues of study, with nearly 1,087 students currently enrolled.

One of the more unique features of Pitzer College is its political activism, as it is currently rated #1 for most politically active students.

There are numerous initiatives and programs the school is involved in, focusing on community development, inclusivity, and diversity.

Pitzer College features the Racial Justice Initiative, The People’s Pitzer Civic Engagement, and the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability.

This school is ideal if you are looking for a college where you can get the most activism opportunities.

It offers many study opportunities outside of mentoring students through social issues.

You will be able to participate in study abroad and international programs, multiple majors and minors, and special degree programs.

Students will find it effortless to look for the best method of learning that suits their needs.

Pitzer College has some of the most diverse majors compared to other colleges that don’t require SAT scores. These programs include:

  • Spanish
  • Classics
  • Cognitive Science
  • Neuroscience
  • Political Studies
  • Sociology
  • Art
  • Chemistry
  • Management Engineering

8. Ithaca College

4 Year; Ithaca, NY

Average Annual Cost: $34,554

Ithaca College is a school that takes pride in creating a diverse graduating class with students who are specialists in their field.

Along with studies, the school also focuses on helping students become the best version of themselves and create lifelong connections and friendships.

Ithaca College is ideal if you are looking for a curriculum that will challenge you from every angle.

The campus is close to some of the most beautiful scenery, with over 150 explorable waterfalls around the Finger Lakes.

Moreover, Ithaca is a town filled with phenomenal art, culture, and cuisine. Students can partake in festivals and other local events to diversify their life experiences.

What makes this school a fantastic solution for all students is its curriculum.

It’s an adaptable blend of hands-on and in-class learning, helping you diversify your experience in different majors and minors.

You will also find midsize classes paired with personal mentorship opportunities and professional guidance.

There are five main areas of study students can consider at Ithaca College:

  • Humanities and Sciences
  • Music, Theatre, and Dance
  • Health Sciences and Human Performance
  • Communications
  • Business

Within these five categories, students will try their hands at research opportunities, hands-on experiments, and more.

By the time you are ready for graduation, you will have the work-ready experience you need to be a leader in your field.

Many students graduate from Ithaca College and work for major companies like JPMorgan, Amazon, Nielsen, or the MLB.

9. New York University

4 Year; New York, NY

Average Annual Cost: $38,569

Students searching for a school that doesn’t require SAT scores will love New York University.

Situated in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, this university is in the heart of New York, New York.

You will find an incredible number of academic programs to consider paired with a highly competitive curriculum adaptable to all learning styles.

When you enroll at New York University, you will have access to over 400 different programs.

There are undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs as well as certificates.

Students can explore anything from archaeology to astronomy, opening the door for multiple learning opportunities.

Another interesting program from New York University is its accelerated studies. This is something to consider if you want to earn your degree in less time.

It is a phenomenal way to take an undergraduate and graduate degree program simultaneously.

Along with offering on-campus classes, New York University also has an online school.

The programs follow the same curriculum as the on-campus courses. Also, they are taught by the same highly trained professional faculty members.

New York University has some of the most diverse course offerings compared to other schools with online programs.

Students can enroll in teaching education, bioinformatics, or even occupational therapy.

Using this avenue of study, you can finally have a post-secondary learning pathway that fits into your schedule.

10. California Institute of the Arts

4 Year; Valencia, CA

Average Annual Cost: $56,876

If you’ve always dreamed of being a performer or working behind the camera, the California Institute of the Arts is a great option.

As an art-focused school, your experience and desire are the main factors they consider rather than your SAT scores.

This school has some of the most competitive learning opportunities for students.

When enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts, you will explore different education methods that help develop professional artists.

The school enables you to come into your true artistry, displaying your creative talent, unlike any other program.

Also, it is one of the most inclusive art schools, offering over 70 diverse art-related programs.

There are six broad categories of specialty students can consider: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater.

You can choose unique specialties within each category, such as photography, interpretive dance, and theatre performance.

With such a diverse list of programs, students are sure to find their ideal learning pathway for a successful career.

As an alternative, students can consider the BFA General Education pathway.

Instead of focusing on a specialty, this degree program offers a broad learning opportunity across all liberal arts.

In turn, you will develop your communicative and analysis skills to help understand and challenge art in a larger context.

Going To College Without SAT

It is easier than you’d think to find colleges that do not require the SAT, especially if you want to learn at your own pace.

With phenomenal programs ranging from liberal arts to engineering, the schools we explored in this guide are ideal for all learning avenues.

Not only will you be able to join a diverse community of peers, but you’ll also unlock amazing employable skills to boost your prospects.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.