Located in East Lansing, Michigan State University is a large public institution with over 50,000 enrolled students. Michigan State offers an education focused on bettering the common good and everyday life, while also providing research and study-abroad programs in popular fields such as business, agriculture, and engineering.
Outside the classroom, Michigan State boasts of numerous student clubs and organizations, including Greek life. The university’s strong performance in NCAA Division I athletics — especially in football and basketball — makes the high-spirited green-and-white Spartans nationally well-known.
Michigan State accepted around 66% from the applicant pool this past year. For applicants, MSU requires two personal statements, a task that may initially seem challenging. CollegeVine has prepared this guide to help you tackle these prompts with success!
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MSU Application Essay Prompts
If you want to get in, the first thing to look at is the acceptance rate. This tells you how competitive the school is and how serious their requirements are.
The acceptance rate at Michigan State is 66%. For every 100 applicants, 66 are admitted.
This means the school is moderately selective. The school expects you to meet their requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores, but they're more flexible than other schools. If you exceed their requirements, you have an excellent chance of getting in. But if you don't, you might be one of the unlucky minority that gets a rejection letter.
Many schools specify a minimum GPA requirement, but this is often just the bare minimum to submit an application without immediately getting rejected.
The GPA requirement that really matters is the GPA you need for a real chance of getting in. For this, we look at the school's average GPA for its current students.
The average GPA at Michigan State is 3.68.
(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.
With a GPA of 3.68, Michigan State requires you to be above average in your high school class. You'll need at least a mix of A's and B's, with more A's than B's. You can compensate for a lower GPA with harder classes, like AP or IB classes. This will show that you're able to handle more difficult academics than the average high school student.
If you're currently a junior or senior, your GPA is hard to change in time for college applications. If your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.68, you'll need a higher SAT or ACT score to compensate. This will help you compete effectively against other applicants who have higher GPAs than you.
Each school has different requirements for standardized testing. Most schools require the SAT or ACT, and many also require SAT subject tests.
You must take either the SAT or ACT to submit an application to Michigan State. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.
Michigan State SAT Requirements
Many schools say they have no SAT score cutoff, but the truth is that there is a hidden SAT requirement. This is based on the school's average score.
Average SAT: 1190 (Old: 1651)
The average SAT score composite at Michigan State is a 1190 on the 1600 SAT scale.
On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1651.
This score makes Michigan State Competitive for SAT test scores.
Michigan State SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)
The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1050, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1310. In other words, a 1050 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1310 will move you up to above average.
Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
Michigan State SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)
The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1440, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1840. In other words, a 1440 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 1840 puts you well above average.
Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:
|Section||Average||25th Percentile||75th Percentile|
SAT Score Choice Policy
The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.
Michigan State ACT Requirements
Just like for the SAT, Michigan State likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.
Average ACT: 26
The average ACT score at Michigan State is 26. This score makes Michigan State Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.
The 25th percentile ACT score is 23, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 28.
Even though Michigan State likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 23 or below, you'll have a harder time getting in, unless you have something else impressive in your application.
ACT Score Sending Policy
If you're taking the ACT as opposed to the SAT, you have a huge advantage in how you send scores, and this dramatically affects your testing strategy.
Here it is: when you send ACT scores to colleges, you have absolute control over which tests you send. You could take 10 tests, and only send your highest one. This is unlike the SAT, where many schools require you to send all your tests ever taken.
This means that you have more chances than you think to improve your ACT score. To try to aim for the school's ACT requirement of 26 and above, you should try to take the ACT as many times as you can. When you have the final score that you're happy with, you can then send only that score to all your schools.
ACT Superscore Policy
By and large, most colleges do not superscore the ACT. (Superscore means that the school takes your best section scores from all the test dates you submit, and then combines them into the best possible composite score). Thus, most schools will just take your highest ACT score from a single sitting.
We weren't able to find the school's exact ACT policy, which most likely means that it does not Superscore. Regardless, you can choose your single best ACT score to send in to Michigan State, so you should prep until you reach our recommended target ACT score of 26.
Download our free guide on the top 5 strategies you must be using to improve your score. This guide was written by Harvard graduates and ACT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.
SAT/ACT Writing Section Requirements
Both the SAT and ACT have a Writing section that includes an essay.
Michigan State requires you to take the SAT/ACT Writing section. They'll use this as another factor in their admissions consideration.
SAT Subject Test Requirements
Schools vary in their SAT subject test requirements. Typically, selective schools tend to require them, while most schools in the country do not.
We did not find information that Michigan State requires SAT subject tests, and so most likely it does not. At least 6 months before applying, you should still doublecheck just to make sure, so you have enough time to take the test.