Umass Amherst Essay

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 UMass is 58%. For every 100 applicants, 58 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 UMass is 3.83.

(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.

With a GPA of 3.83, UMass requires you to be near the top of your class, and well above average. Your transcript should show mostly A's. Ideally, you will also have taken several AP or IB classes to show that you can handle academics at a college level.

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 3.83, 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 UMass. More importantly, you need to do well to have a strong application.

UMass 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: 1290 (Old: 1226)

The average SAT score composite at UMass is a 1290 on the 1600 SAT scale.

On the old 2400 SAT, this corresponds to an average SAT score of 1226. (According to our records, this school requires only Reading and Math, so this score is out of 1600.)

This score makes UMass Competitive for SAT test scores.


UMass SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The 25th percentile New SAT score is 1200, and the 75th percentile New SAT score is 1380. In other words, a 1200 on the New SAT places you below average, while a 1380 will move you up to above average.

Applicants to UMass in the Boston suburbs, including Newton, should make sure their scores are in top condition with our writers' research on local test prep tutoring.

Here's the breakdown of new SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math640600700
Reading323034
Composite129012001380

UMass SAT Score Analysis (Old 2400 SAT)

The 25th percentile Old SAT score is 1130, and the 75th percentile SAT score is 1310. In other words, a 1130 on the Old SAT places you below average, while a 1310 puts you well above average.

Here's the breakdown of old SAT scores by section:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Math628580670
Reading598550640
Composite122611301310

SAT Score Choice Policy

The Score Choice policy at your school is an important part of your testing strategy.

UMass has the Score Choice policy of "Highest Section."

This is also known as "superscoring." This means that you can choose which SAT tests you want to send to the school. Of all the scores they receive, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates you submit.

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)

For example, say you submit the following 3 test scores:

SectionR+WMathComposite
Test 17003001000
Test 23007001000
Test 3300300600
Superscore7007001400

Even though the highest total you scored on any one test date was 1000, UMass will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 1000 to 1400 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and UMass forms your Superscore, you can take the SAT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your SAT superscore is currently below a 1290, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the SAT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the SAT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.


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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 SAT perfect scorers. If you apply the strategies in this guide, you'll study smarter and make huge score improvements.


UMass ACT Requirements

Just like for the SAT, UMass likely doesn't have a hard ACT cutoff, but if you score too low, your application will get tossed in the trash.

Average ACT: 27

The average ACT score at UMass is 27. This score makes UMass Moderately Competitive for ACT scores.

The 25th percentile ACT score is 25, and the 75th percentile ACT score is 30.

Even though UMass likely says they have no minimum ACT requirement, if you apply with a 25 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 27 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.

However, from our research, UMass is understood to superscore the ACT. We couldn't confirm it directly from the school's admissions website, but multiple sources confirm that the school does superscore the ACT. We recommend you call their admissions office directly for more information.

Source

Superscoring is powerful to your testing strategy, and you need to make sure you plan your testing accordingly. Of all the scores that UMass receives, your application readers will consider your highest section scores across all ACT test dates you submit.

Click below to learn more about how superscoring critically affects your test strategy.

How does superscoring change your test strategy? (Click to Learn)

For example, say you submit the following 4 test scores:

EnglishMathReadingScienceComposite
Test 13216161620
Test 21632161620
Test 31616321620
Test 41616163220
Superscore3232323232

Even though the highest ACT composite you scored on any one test date was 20, UMass will take your highest section score from all your test dates, then combine them to form your Superscore. You can raise your composite score from 20 to 32 in this example.

This is important for your testing strategy. Because you can choose which tests to send in, and UMass forms your Superscore, you can take the ACT as many times as you want, then submit only the tests that give you the highest Superscore. Your application readers will only see that one score.

Therefore, if your ACT score is currently below a 27, we strongly recommend that you consider prepping for the ACT and retaking it. You have a very good chance of raising your score, which will significantly boost your chances of getting in.

Even better, because of the Superscore, you can focus all your energy on a single section at a time. If your Reading score is lower than your other sections, prep only for the Reading section, then take the ACT. Then focus on Math for the next test, and so on. This will surely give you the highest Superscore possible.


Studying for the ACT instead? Want to learn how to improve your ACT score by 4 points?

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.

UMass recommends that you take the SAT/ACT Writing section. If you do well, they'll consider your application to be stronger.


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 UMass 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.



Access to fair and equal education remains one of the most pressing issues of our time. While today, all children are required to attend school in the United States, this is not the case in all societies. In many countries, education is not a childhood right but a privilege, reserved only for the social elite. In many cases, some children are segregated out by class, race, caste, or sex as unworthy for education and excluded them from the educational system.

W. E. B. Du Bois was a highly educated man. The valedictorian of his high school class, Du Bois enrolled at Fisk University in Nashville at sixteen and later became the first black man to receive a doctorate at Harvard. Du Bois recognized the value of his education and saw it as a priceless gift and, like many social reformers, a way to abate the effects of the oppression of minorities in the United States and to allow people to rise up and claim their rightful place in American society.

Early in the twentieth century, Du Bois argued that American society could and would be changed if fair and equal education were available. But Du Bois, the social critic, was well aware that in many parts of the country, particularly the south, education was neither fair nor equal for African Americans, women, or the poor. More controversially, Du Bois criticized the vocational and technical curriculum favored by his Booker T. Washington, his rival and one of America's best known black leaders. Only through an academic curriculum, Du Bois argued, could true racial empowerment be achieved. Without complete intellectual equality, true social equality would never become a reality.

W.E.B Du Bois' ideas on the connections between education and social equality were revolutionary for his time. He knew there would be no easy solution to the social inequality of the early 1900s, but he was willing to try in order to ensure the success and equality of future generations.

"The Training of Negroes for Social Power" (1903)
In "The Training of Negroes for Social Power," Du Bois proposes that the solution to the problem of black disenfranchisement includes tackling ignorance, poverty, and crime in black society. Education is the key to empowerment.
"The Opening of the Library" (1902)
All races must have access to the new Atlanta Public Library, as it is through education and inspiration that change will be made.
"Public Schools" (1916)
Education is the key to solving many social issues. Public schools are the mother of a democratic society, and it is the responsibility of the public education system to break down the social barriers that divide Americans.
"Mixed Schools" (1921)
The public school system is a microcosm of larger society. Du Bois sees children of all races and backgrounds learning together in common classrooms as the best practice for an inclusive, integrated society.
"Education" (1915)
Du Bois stresses the idea that the educational curriculum is just as important as the learning environment and argues that the technical education curriculum for black students is the basis of social inequality and the first barrier to a truly democratic society.
"Dr. Du Bois Explains" (1912)
Du Bois criticizes the low expectations of industrial education for African American children.

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