Score-Sending Behavior

Students can send their test scores at no cost to up to 4 colleges or scholarship agencies when they register for the ACT. Many students do not take advantage of this opportunity to get their information to the colleges that they are considering. Of the high school graduating class of 2011, only 54% sent their test scores to at least 1 college at time of first testing.

Number of College Choices at Time of First Testing by Family Income Level, 2011

Line graph showing number of college choices at time of first testing by family income level

Graph reads: 57% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 whose family earned between $60,000 and $100,000 sent their ACT scores to at least 1 college at time of first testing.

Family IncomeAt least 1 choiceNo choices
Less than $36K62%38%
$36K–$60K61%39%
$60K–$100K57%43%
$100K+49%51%

Note: Based on 74% of the ACT-tested graduating class of 2011 who reported family income level when registering for the ACT.

Score-sending behavior at time of first testing differed by the family income level of the student.

  • A student’s likelihood of submitting test scores to at least 1 college decreased as family income level increased.
  • Conversely, a student’s likelihood of not submitting any test scores at the time of ACT registration increased with family income level.


Number of College Choices at Time of First Testing by State Category, 2011

Bar chart showing number of college choices at time of first testing by state category

Graph reads: 60% of the ACT-tested high school graduating class of 2011 from “ACT+” states sent their ACT scores to at least 1 college at time of first testing.

State CategoryAt least 1 choiceNo choices
ACT+60%40%
ACT55%45%
ACT/SAT49%51%
SAT45%55%
SAT+36%64%
National54%46%

A student’s score-sending behavior at time of first testing differed substantially by the ACT and SAT participation rates in the state.

  • In “ACT” and “ACT+” states, more than 50% of graduates sent their ACT scores to at least 1 college.
  • In contrast, fewer than 50% of graduates in “SAT” or “SAT+” states sent their ACT scores to at least 1 college.