Arizona State University (ASU) – Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements

Located in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona State University is a public research institution with a large, urban campus and a total undergraduate enrollment of over 63,000. 

The college has held the number one spot on US News and World Report’s rankings for the most innovative university in the country every year since 2016. 

In addition to their focus on an innovative approach to undergraduate education, ASU also offers students an abundance of resources and opportunities to conduct research in their well-renowned programs. 

ASU is also the #1 public university in the country chosen by international students, according to the 2021 Institute of International Education Open Doors Report. The student body includes over 13,000 international students as of fall 2020.

The school is proudly dedicated to diversity and inclusion, hosting students from all 50 states, 3 territories, 136 countries, and 236 tribal nations currently. 

Notable alumni include fashion designer Kate Spade, television host Jimmy Kimmel, actor David Spade, and the current prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern. 

ASU students can pick from among the over 350 undergraduate majors the school offers. Some of the most popular majors include journalism, education, business, and engineering.

For those who wish to continue their education beyond earning a bachelor’s degree, ASU also has over 450 different graduate degree programs from which to choose.

Read on to learn more about ASU’s acceptance rate, GPA and SAT/ACT requirements, and much more. 

Arizona State University Acceptance Rate

Arizona State University
Beyond My Ken, Arizona State University, Tempe Campus, Old Main, CC BY-SA 4.0

The overall acceptance rate for Arizona State University is 88%, according to US News and World Report.

Among all universities in the state of Arizona, ASU is ranked seventh for the lowest acceptance rate. 

Compared to the national average of 66% for all universities, however, ASU’s acceptance rate is relatively high. 

Therefore, in our opinion, the school can be considered lightly to somewhat selective.

In the fall of 2020, 34,188 students submitted applications to ASU, and the school offered admission to 29,562 of them. 

This means that the acceptance rate for this particular year was 86.5%, slightly lower than previous years. 

Of the accepted students, around 34% ultimately decided to enroll, while the remaining 52.5% opted to decline the school’s offer for admission. 

The acceptance rate has risen 4% from the recorded acceptance rate of 82.5% for the 2016-2017 academic year. 

In fact, ASU’s acceptance rate has been climbing higher and higher each year since then. 

Conversely, the projected acceptance rate for the 2022-2023 academic year is about 79%, according to some sources. This estimate is based on data regarding general trends in college admissions statistics over time and therefore is subject to change.  

Arizona State University Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

ASU’s student body is made up of about 49.6% Arizona residents and a slight majority of out-of-state students. 

Of the 39.1% of ASU students who are enrolled in online programs, 18.1% are Arizona residents, with the remaining 21% being from out-of-state.

As a public university, the school has stated that it strives primarily to serve state citizens and therefore prioritizes residents in the enrollment process. 

The ratio of resident students to out-of-state students varies year to year according to how many students transfer, leave ASU, and more, affecting the acceptance rate for out-of-state students. 

Because admissions statistics are generally not broken down according to the state of residence, it is difficult to estimate the acceptance rate for out-of-state students alone accurately. The 88% overall acceptance rate at ASU includes both in- and out-of-state applicants. 

Given the school’s mission to serve the local community, however, one can expect that fewer out-of-state students are offered admission, compared to residents.   

Because resident tuition is subsidized by state government funding, out-of-state tuition is generally more expensive. 

The tuition and other fees associated with attending ASU as an out-of-state student come to a total of $31,233 annually, compared to only $12,393 a year for Arizona residents

GPA for Arizona State University

Arizona State University
Public domain photo by Daderot via Wikimedia Commons

There is no specific GPA requirement for admission at ASU, but it is worth noting that the average weighted GPA for accepted ASU applicants is 3.54.

Compared to other colleges, ASU’s admission requirements are a bit unusual — rather than prescribing a strict list of numbers students must meet to be considered, they have course competency requirements.

These competency requirements can be met through high school classes, previous college coursework, or standardized test scores. 

Regardless of intended degree program or other qualifications, all students are required to earn a minimum GPA of 2.0 in each area of competency. 

Competency areas include English, math, laboratory science, social science, second language, and fine arts or career/technical education. 

Applicants may be admitted with one deficiency in a maximum of two competency areas, as long of those two areas are not math and laboratory science.   

There are two groups of students for whom exceptions to the competency requirement can be made. 

One includes students who have completed an associate degree or higher from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution with a GPA of 2.0 or higher for Arizona residents or 2.50 for nonresidents. 

Those who have completed the Arizona General Education Curriculum with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or 2.5 for residents or out-of-state students, respectively, are also exempt from competency requirements.

SAT & ACT Requirements for Arizona State University

ASU does not require SAT or ACT scores for admission. 

However, students who have taken one of these standardized tests may choose to submit their scores as a supplement to application information or for the purpose of ASU course placement.

One way that students can submit test scores to ASU is by requesting to have College Board or ACT do so automatically on their behalf when they register for the test. Alternatively, scores can also be sent to ASU from these same entities after the student has taken the test, but there may be a fee. 

Half of the students who are admitted to ASU have an SAT score between 1100 and 1320 or an ACT score between 21 and 28.  

Although test scores are optional, ASU requires that applicants have one of four aptitude requirements to be admitted. 

Two of these aptitude requirements are either an SAT score of 1120 or 1180 for residents and non-residents, respectively, or an ACT score of 22 or 24. 

Students who do not meet these guidelines and those who have not taken the SAT or ACT at all can still satisfy the aptitude requirement through one of the other two options.  

Other Requirements and Admission Tips for ASU

As previously noted, ASU applicants must meet one of four aptitude requirements in order to be considered for admission. 

These four requirements include an SAT score of 1120 or ACT score of 22 for resident applicants, or 1180 or 24 for out-of-state students.

Other than one of these two test scores, students can meet the aptitude requirement by either achieving a 3.0 GPA in competency courses or by graduating in the top 25% of their high school class.     

The college has stated that these requirements are general guidelines for admission, but that students who do not meet any of the above standards may still be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis. 

On the other hand, aptitude requirements can vary according to the particular degree program the student intends to pursue, so it is prudent for all ASU students to check what they need for their specific program through ASU’s degree search

ASU advises prospective students to apply as early as possible. Students can self-report their grades to the school rather than submitting a transcript to expedite the admission process. 

Sending in an official final transcript is still required in order to enroll in classes, and the self-reported grades must match those reflected in the transcript, or else admission may be revoked. 

Essays for Arizona State

ASU does not require essays or personal statements for first-year applicants. 

Students can apply through ASU’s online application, the Common Application, or the Coalition Application, none of which are preferred over the others by the school.  

Both the Common Application and the Coalition Application offer a number of options for essay prompts, but ASU’s application process does not mandate that students complete responses to any of these in order to be considered for admission. 

Applicants are welcome to submit a written supplement with their ASU application if they so desire for whatever reason, but it should be noted that there is no guarantee that doing so will have any influence over the likelihood of being admitted. 

On the other hand, the majority of ASU’s graduate or professional programs do require applicants to submit a personal statement as part of their application bundle. 

The purpose of the personal statement is to allow applicants to discuss any elements of their past personal or academic experiences that have led them to the decision to apply to ASU. 

The statement should also discuss the ways in which the student plans to succeed in the program to which they are applying, at ASU more broadly, and how attending the school will serve them in future endeavors after graduation.

Is Arizona State University Right for You?

When deciding what college you will attend, it is crucial to consider your academic and professional goals, what resources different colleges have to offer, what kind of environment the campus has, and much more. 

Although it may seem impossible to really know if you will be happier at one college versus another, one way of gauging your likelihood of being content at a particular school is to look at their retention rates. 

ASU ranks first among the public universities in the state of Arizona for the best first-year retention rate, with an overwhelming 86.2% of first-year students returning the following year. 

Since the freshman retention rate is a widely accepted barometer for student satisfaction, this figure suggests a high probability that ASU is right for you.

With over 60,000 students currently, ASU is one of the largest universities in the country. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the college achieved a new record for highest enrollment ever recorded at the school, totaling over 100,000 students across its four campuses.

For students who want to attend a college with a vibrant, diverse campus community and many opportunities to interact with new people, ASU certainly has no shortage of people to meet.   

ASU maintains an 18:1 student-faculty ratio, and 41.1% of their classes have 20 or fewer students. 

This means that students who are looking for individualized attention from professors and the intimacy afforded by small class sizes may still be able to thrive at ASU, despite how large it is.

Ultimately, only you can determine if a school is right for you, but ASU’s strong track record for turning out highly satisfied students suggests that the school is worthy of serious consideration.