I am thinking of applying to Caltech. I'm not sure if my SAT score of 2100 is high enough. Do I have any shot of getting in? What's the SAT cutoff for Caltech?
Caltech does NOT have hard requirements for SAT / ACT scores for admissions (see their guide).
This means that there is no such thing as having a score so low. Caltech has no rule that forbids your admission just because of your ACT / SAT score itself. However, in practice, having an SAT or ACT score more than one interquartile range below the 25th percentile of Caltech (a 2210) would probably lower your chance of admissions to less than 1/1000. For Caltech, the score one interquartile range below the 25th percentile is 2030, which you can see as a practical cutoff.
Likewise, there is no score so high that it guarantees admissions to Caltech. Your score can be a perfect 2400 (10 points above the Caltech 75th percentile SAT score), and your chance of getting in can still be lower than 50%.
The best way is to use the 25th, 75th percentile guide for Caltech here to see how you fall along the spectrum of admitted students. Our complete guide to Caltech SAT scores & GPA has even more specific tools you can use to gauge your chance of admission with various SAT scores and GPAs.
Sources: - Assuming normal or even a fat-tailed distribution (e.g. t-3 distribution) of admissions likelihoods, and a nonincreasing number of applicants over the applicable SAT range, the 25th percentile minus one interquartile range is about three standard deviations below the mean. This corresponds to less than a 1/100 likelihood, and Caltech has around a 1/10 acceptance rate anyway, which results in a 1/1000 or less probability of getting in.