Villanova University Admissions Statistics

Learn About Villanova and the GPA, SAT Scores, and ACT Scores You'll Need

Church in Villanova University
Chapel at Villanova University. aimintang / Getty Images

Admission to Villanova University is highly selective, and in 2017 the school had an acceptance rate of just 36 percent. Successful applicants almost always have grades and standardized test scores that are well above average. The university uses the Common Application, and non-numerical measures such as extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement are all part of the admissions equation.

Why You Might Choose Villanova University

Founded in 1842, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in Pennsylvania. Located just outside of Philadelphia, Villanova is well known for both its strong academic and athletic programs. The university has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a recognition of its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences. Academics are supported by a healthy 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio. In athletics, the Villanova Wildcats compete in the Division I Big East Conference (football competes in the Division I-AA Atlantic 10 Conference). Villanova students also host the Pennsylvania Special Olympics on their campus.

With the university's many strengths, it should come as no surprise that it made the list of top Catholic colleges and universities, top Pennsylvania colleges and top Middle Atlantic colleges.

Villanova GPA, SAT and ACT Graph

Villanova University GPA, SAT and ACT Data for Admission
Villanova University GPA, SAT Scores and ACT Scores for Admission. . Data courtesy of Cappex.

Discussion of Villanova's Admissions Standards:

Less than half of all applications to Villanova University are accepted. Successful applicants will need grades and standardized test scores that are significantly above average. In the graph above, the blue and green dots represent accepted students. You can see that the majority of students who got in had high school GPAs of 3.5 or higher, combined SAT scores of about 1250 or higher (RW+M), and ACT composite scores of 27 or higher. Clearly the higher your grades and standardized test scores, the better your chances are of receiving an acceptance letter.

Note that some students were accepted with test scores and grades a little bit below the norm. This is because Villanova, like most of the country's highly selective private colleges, uses The Common Application and has holistic admissions. The Villanova admissions folks take into consideration the rigor of your high school courses, your application essayextracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. Also, the Villanova application has a supplemental essay—most successful applicants use it to convey their passions.

Admissions Data (2017)

If you compare Villanova's SAT scores to the SAT scores for other top Catholic universities, you'll see that only Boston College, Georgetown, and Notre Dame are more selective. 

  • Villanova University Acceptance Rate: 36%

Test Scores -- 25th / 75th Percentile

  • SAT Critical Reading: 620 / 710
  • SAT Math: 630 / 730
  • ACT Composite: 30 / 33
  • ACT English: 30 / 35
  • ACT Math: 28 / 33​

Rejection and Waitlist Data for Villanova University

Waitlist and Rejection Data for Villanova University
Waitlist and Rejection Data for Villanova University. Graph courtesy of 

When we strip away the green and blue data points for accepted students, we can see that there are quite a few red dots (rejected students) and yellow dots (waitlisted students) hidden behind the green and blue. Quite a few students who had grades and test scores that were on target for Villanova University did not get admitted. This is further evidence that the admission process is truly holistic. You can be a straight "A" student with high SAT scores and still receive a rejection letter from Villanova if other areas of your application fail to impress.

That said, the rejection data does reveal a little good news: if your unweighted GPA is above a 3.5 and your combined SAT score is above a 1500 (RW+M), your chances of admission will be extremely high.

More Villanova University Information

As you work to create your college wish list, be sure to consider factors such as size, costs with financial aid, and academic offerings. Villanova tends to do well in these areas, although you will find that some top universities in Villanova's price range offer larger average grant aid awards.

Enrollment (2017)

  • Total Enrollment: 10,967 (6,950 undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 47% Male / 53% Female
  • 94% Full-time

Costs (2017 - 18)

  • Tuition and Fees: $51,284
  • Books: $1,100
  • Room and Board: $13,547
  • Other Expenses: $2,300
  • Total Cost: $68,231

Villanova University Financial Aid (2016 - 17)

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 64%
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 54%
    • Loans: 47%
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $30,163
    • Loans: $8,420

Academic Programs

  • Most Popular Majors: Accounting, Biology, Communication Studies, English, Finance, Marketing, Mechanical Engineering, Nursing, Political Science
  • What major is right for you? .

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • First Year Student Retention (full-time students): 95%
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 87%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 90%

Intercollegiate Athletic Programs

  • Men's Sports: Track and Field, Football, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming, Baseball, Basketball, Golf
  • Women's Sports: Rowing, Softball, Soccer, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Water Polo, Track and Field, Lacrosse

If You Like Villanova University, You May Also Like These Schools

Applicants to Villanova University often apply to other strong Catholic Universities with Division I athletic programs. Popular choices include Boston College, University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, and Loyola University Maryland. Just keep in mind that Notre Dame and Georgetown are even more selective than Villanova.

Villanova applicants are also drawn to some of the strong non-Catholic institutions in the Northeast and Middle Atlantic regions. Lehigh University, Northeastern University, Boston University, and George Washington University are all popular choices among applicants.

Data Source: Graphs courtesy of; all other data from the National Center for Educational Statistics.