College acceptance has come into the spotlight with the news that stars like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin allegedly used illegal ways to get their children into prestigious schools. This raises the question of who really has the best SAT scores among the celebrity set?
The list below chronicles those who scored enormously well on the iconic scholastic aptitude test — one of many elements that universities look at to determine the future success of a potential student at their school. Some of our celebrities who aced the SATs might surprise you, and others could have been predicted — such as Bill Gates. But what about Ben Affleck?!
Here are the 17 celebrities with the highest SAT scores (1600 being a perfect score) along with the school they chose to attend and where they made their mark professionally!
Score: Rumored to be 1600
University: University of Vermont & Occidental College
Profession: Oscar-winning Actor, Director, Writer
Affleck was a natural as his SAT score was rumored to be perfect, as reported by the New York Times. The intelligent student would attend college in Vermont but then leave for Hollywood with his buddy Matt Damon in search of success amongst the glittering spotlights (and to enroll at Occidental). Looks like they found it!
Score: Rumored to be 1600
Profession: Actor, Producer
Will Smith supposedly also had a perfect score on his SATs (as he stated in his profile on the Biography channel) and instead of parlaying that into a college education, he chose a career in music, then eventually television (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) and then on the big screen as one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood history (MIB, Independence Day and more). “I had pretty high SAT scores and they needed black kids, so I probably could have gotten in to MIT,” he said in the Biography profile. “But I had no intention of going to college.”
Profession: Microsoft Founder, Owner of the Seattle Seahawks, etc.
University: Washington State University
Paul Allen cofounded Microsoft with his buddy Bill Gates, and the two would soon become some of the wealthiest people on the planet. His perfect score, as seen in powerscore.com the test prep site, doesn’t necessarily guarantee an individual will finish college! What’s fascinating is that Allen would drop out from Washington State University before graduation as did Gates from Harvard. Allen passed away in 2018.
Score: Rumored to be 1600
University: UCLA, followed by his MFA at Columbia
Profession: Actor, Director, Writer
James Franco is one of those Hollywood artists who likes to have plenty of projects going on at once. From acting to writing, directing and producing — he does it all. Some would say that that is a sign of intelligence — judging by his reportedly perfect scores on the SATs, (as reported in The Daily Mail) guess that is true.
Score: 1590 (as reported in powerscore.com, the test prep site)
University: Harvard ultimately dropping out
Profession: Microsoft Founder, Head of the Gates Foundation
According to The Daily Mail, the future Microsoft founder, Gates, almost got a perfect score. Gates, like his friend Allen, would drop out of Harvard before graduating. Things worked out OK for him. Just check out his mansion!
Profession: NFL Quarterback
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick may be known as “Fitz-Magic” in the NFL for his ability to grab victory from the mouth of defeat. But in education circles his nickname might be “Fitz-Brilliant” for his almost perfect SAT score that got him into Harvard. Bleacher Report said that the baller scored a 1580 on the standardized test and it wasn’t just his arm that got him into Harvard, an Ivy League school.
James Woods — long before he became a lightning rod for conservative issues in liberal Hollywood — was lighting up the SATs to the tune of 1579, a score that got him into the prestigious MIT in Boston. While on Inside the Actor’s Studio, Woods revealed his high SAT score and how it helped him get a scholarship to the prestigious Boston college. He also talked about his 180 IQ, another feature of smarts.
Career: Actor, Author, Political Commentator
Ben Stein has been all over the news as an expert on conservative issues as well as economic issues. Most people know him from his role as the droll teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. “Bueller? Anyone? Bueller?” The dry delivery was masking a brain of the highest order. According to The Daily Mail, he scored in the high 1500s and went to the Ivy League school, Columbia. Now he even advises J. Lo and Britney Spears on money.
Ke$ha could have gone to any university she wanted with her 1500 SAT score but instead her heart pulled her into music. “Yeah, I was all set out for, a life of academia,” the singer once said to Time magazine of her 1500 score. “I chose instead to drop out of high school like a moth away from graduation and do this. I’ve never looked back, though.”Good choice as she was signed to a record label at the age of 18. The rest, as they say, is history.
Profession: Academy Award-winning Actress
Natalie Portman was a child star making waves in films like The Professional. The draw of education was strong, so when she took her SATs she aced them, as reported in PopCrush, and wound up at one of the nation’s most prestigious universities: Harvard. Walking away from Hollywood to get an Ivy League education did not hurt her at all. In fact she won a Best Actress Oscar for her work in Black Swan directed by another member on this esteemed list, Darren Aronofsky.
Profession: Movie Director
If you have seen any of Aronofsky movies there is a deep cerebral element to everything he does. From Black Swan to his most recent Mother! he is a thinking person’s director as they say. Guess that Harvard education permeates every frame of his films. He revealed his score in an interview with Scarlett Johansson in Interview magazine.
Profession: Politician, former Vice President of the United States
Al Gore would go on to become a senator from Tennessee and the Vice President of the United States of America under President Bill Clinton. His 1355 SAT scores, reported in Inside Politics, got him into Harvard. Little bit of trivia: Who was his college roommate? Why, it was Tommy Lee Jones!
University: University of Maine
Profession: Bestselling Author
It’s scary how accomplished Stephen King became after graduating college. First he had to ace his SATs and, according to PrepScholar blog, the future scary author rocked the test. He got a pretty fine 1300 score that landed him at his local state school, the University of Maine. That move should surprise no one as his passion for his home state runs through every page of his intense books. A vast majority of his stories take place in the northern New England state.
When Meredith Vieira took her SATs, she must have felt The View was rather nice looking at colleges with her solid score of 1300, reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. She attended Tufts University and has laid out quite a successful career in media journalism.
University: The New School
Jesse Eisenberg played Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. Embodying somebody so innately intelligent must have come easy to the actor as he too did well in school scoring a 1260 on the SATs (according to PrepSchool Scholar), which took him to The New School.
University: University of Michigan
Profession: Former Baseball all-star, current Part Owner of Miami Marlins
Derek Jeter has always been reported as having a high IQ for the sport of baseball. It should surprise no one then that the baseballer scored a 1200 on his SATs (as reported on BuzzFeed), which got him into the prestigious University of Michigan. That is not an easy state school to get into by any stretch.