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Articles / Admissions / ACT Re-Take for Community College Transfer?

April 26, 2020

ACT Re-Take for Community College Transfer?

Question: I just finished my second semester at Lansing Community College, and I'm hoping to transfer to the University of Michigan next fall. I currently have an unweighted GPA of 3.91, but my high school ACT score was a 23. The University of Michigan requires transfer students to send in their ACT/SAT scores, so will my ACT score affect my chances of being accepted or will it not matter because I'm already in college? Should I retake the ACT?

Nice work on that community college GPA. You rocked it!


U. of Michigan does ask for SAT/ACT scores from students who took the test in high school but tells those who didn't that they don't have to take the test now and send scores. Similarly, you definitely should NOT re-take the ACT. The Michigan admission folks will probably glance at your high school ACT score to get a vague sense of how you were performing back then ... and how far you've come. But your college course selection and GPA are what will play a starring role in your decision. You would also be wise—if you haven't done so already—to speak to the transfer counselor at Lansing CC to make sure you've done everything else you're supposed to do to ensure your acceptance at Michigan.

In addition, if there is information you want to share with the Michigan admission officials that you think will help put your ACT score in perspective, feel free to send in an unsolicited letter. For instance, if you weren't a focused student in high school—perhaps due to family problems or lack of encouragement at home or because of the crowd you hung out with—you could write a letter explaining how your circumstances—or perspective—have changed.

But this letter isn't really necessary, unless you feel compelled to write it. Your community college record should speak for itself. Best of luck to you and congrats on your fine record.

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Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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