Is the University of Massachusetts – Amherst Hard to Get Into?

The University of Massachusetts – Amherst is the flagship school of the UMass System, which is why some graduating high school students find it daunting to put its name on their college list. But is it really that hard to get into UMass Amherst because of its reputation?

With an acceptance rate of 64%, getting into the University of Massachusetts – Amherst is not as hard compared to other schools in the state. However, while there are also no published minimum high school GPA and standardized test scores for applicants, UMass Amherst is still one of the more selective institutions in Massachusetts.

Thinking about applying to this well-known public school in Bay State?

Don’t stop reading now. By the time you get to the end of this article, you will have a much better idea of your chances of getting an acceptance letter from UMass Amherst’s admissions office.

UMass Amherst

Is the University of Massachusetts – Amherst Highly Ranked?

The University of Massachusetts – Amherst is a top-ranking institution not only in the US but also in Massachusetts. US News ranks it #26 in Top Public Schools. Meanwhile, UMass Amherst is #1 in Top Public Universities and by Niche and #1 in Best Public Colleges in Massachusetts by College Simply.

Generally speaking, the more highly ranked the school, the more selective it is.

UMass Amherst, fortunately, dominates most college ranking categories by various college rankers without being too selective. This means that more students can enjoy the opportunity of earning a degree from a revered academic institution, including those who are very much unlikely to get into highly competitive schools.

In the land, it’s true that the University of Massachusetts – Amherst’s acceptance rate isn’t the lowest. However, it’s a totally different story when it comes to colleges and universities situated in Massachusetts.

Related Article: Is UMass Amherst a Good School?

Here are institutions in the state with the lowest acceptance rates:

Hampshire College2%
Harvard University5%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology7%
Amherst College11%
Williams College13%
Tufts University15%
Olin College of Engineering16%
Northeastern University18%
Boston University19%
Laboure College21%
Wellesley College22%
Babson College26%
Boston College27%
Brandeis University30%
Smith College32%
Emerson College33%
College of the Holy Cross34%
The New England Conservatory of Music37%
Mount Holyoke College38%
Pine Manor College45%
The Boston Conservatory46%
Bentley University47%
Worcester Polytechnic Institute49%
Berklee College of Music51%
Clark University53%
Massachusetts College of Art and Design58%
Eastern Nazarene College59%
Hellenic College Holy Cross64%
University of Massachusetts – Amherst64%

GPA You Need to Get Into the UMass – Amherst

High school GPA is a very important academic admissions factor at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. Despite this, the institution itself says that it has no minimum GPA requirement. The average high school GPA of first-time, first-year students admitted into UMass Amherst is 3.93.

Many colleges and universities do not have a published minimum GPA all applicants should meet.

According to the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, meeting a minimum high school GPA is not a requirement because different applicants to the school come from a range of academic backgrounds. What’s more, they have taken high school courses that vary in difficulty and level, too.

But just because you can apply to UMass Amherst no matter your GPA doesn’t mean that you will be considered to be one of the 64% of applicants who wind up receiving an acceptance letter.

Still, it’s a must for your overall application to be worthy of an offer to enroll at the institution.

Wondering whether or not your high school GPA is enough to win the hearts of the school’s admissions officers? Check out the following percentage of first-year admits at UMass Amherst and the range of their GPAs:

3.75 to 3.9919.80%
3.50 to 3.7421.00%
3.25 to 3.495.70%
3.00 to 3.242.50%
2.50 to 2.990.60%
2.0 to 2.490.20%
1.0 to 1.990.00%
Below 1.00.00%

As mentioned earlier, the average high school GPA of applicants accepted into the University of Massachusetts – Amherst is 3.93. This means that having a GPA that’s more or less similar to it is good for your admissions chances. The closer your high school GPA to 4.0, the more favorable your application’s outcome is likely to be.

What Test Score Do You Need to Get Into the University of Massachusetts – Amherst?

The SAT middle 50% range for applicants accepted into the University of Massachusetts – Amherst is 1210 to 1370. The majority (58.9%) have an SAT composite score of 1200 to 1399. The ACT middle 50% range for accepted students is 26 to 32, most of whom (48.1%) have an ACT composite score of 30 to 36.

Besides the high school GPA, some institutions for higher education also have a published minimum SAT or ACT score applicants need to meet.

It’s a good thing that the University of Massachusetts – Amherst is not one of them.

However, checking out the school’s Common Data Set will give you an idea of what sort of standardized test scores can help applicants gain admission into UMass Amherst. For instance, here’s a table demonstrating the percentage of admitted students and the range of their composite SAT scores:

1400 to 160019.60%
1200 to 139958.90%
1000 to 119921.00%
800 to 9990.50%
600 to 7990.00%
400 to 5990.00%

Meanwhile, the following shows the percentage of admits and the range of their composite ACT scores:

30 to 3648.10%
24 to 2944.70%
18 to 236.90%
12 to 170.20%
6 to 110.00%
Below 60.00%

One of the various academic admissions factors at UMass Amherst is test score.

Unlike academic rigor and GPA with a relative importance of “very important”, standardized test score has a relative importance of “considered”, which means that it can have an impact on your admissions chances.

It’s because of this why applying Regular Decision rather than Early Action (the school does not offer Early Decision) is a good idea if you feel that your test score is not good enough. This will give you plenty of time to retake the SAT or ACT and provide the school with a much better score.

Took the SAT or ACT more than once prior to applying to any college or university?

Consider submitting all your scores from various test dates. That’s because the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, like many other colleges and universities, superscores standardized test scores.

So, in other words, your highest section scores across all test dates will be added together, which will serve as your composite score during the admissions process. It can work to your advantage if one of your test scores is particularly low due to some reason, such as failure to prepare enough or get a good night’s sleep before the test.

UMass Amherst
UMass Amherst

Admissions Factors Considered at the UMass – Amherst

Various academic factors are taken into account during the admissions process. Topping the list are academic rigor and high school GPA. Class rank, admissions essay and recommendations are considered, too. The same is true for many non-academic factors, such as extracurriculars and work experience.

On the fence as to whether or not your application is enough to win you an offer to attend the University of Massachusetts – Amherst? Then take a look at the different admissions factors the school’s admissions officers check out.

These factors are divided into two groups: academic and non-academic.

All possible academic factors are considered at UMass Amherst. However, different ones have different relative importance. So, in other words, some have more weight and thus can have a more considerable impact on your admissions chances. For instance, here are the different academic factors the school considers and their relative importance:

  • Academic rigor – very important
  • GPA – very important
  • Class rank – important
  • Admissions essay – important
  • Recommendation letter – important
  • Standardized test score – considered

On the other hand, the following are the various non-academic factors (and the relative importance of each one) UMass Amherst’s admissions officers take into account when deciding the fate of applicants:

  • Extracurricular activities – important
  • Talent or ability – important
  • Personal qualities – important
  • First-generation – important
  • Work experience – important
  • Demonstrated interest – important
  • Alumni member relations – considered
  • State residency – considered
  • Race or ethnicity – considered
  • Volunteer work – considered

While there are admissions factors considered, there are also those that the University of Massachusetts – Amherst does not care about at all. They are interview, geographical residence and religious affiliation.

Just Before You Apply to the University of Massachusetts – Amherst

The University of Massachusetts – Amherst is a highly ranked flagship school. Despite this, thanks to its acceptance rate of 64%, more than half of all applicants end up getting accepted into it.

Provided that you have a strong overall application, your chances of getting admitted into UMass Amherst are high.

Read Next: What is the University of Massachusetts – Amherst Known For?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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