What Are Ivy League Schools Looking For
While exceptional credentials wonât hurt your application, it might come as a surprise that Ivy League universities are not looking for perfect students. Theyâre also not looking for well-rounded students. The application pile is filled with students who participate in everything but donât shine at anything.
Ivy League schools are looking for people who stick out from the crowd, experts in their area of interest. Ivy League colleges want world-changers who are making positive marks on society with the resources available to them.
Colleges Ranked By Acceptance Rate
The most selective colleges admit only a fraction of their applicants. While over 43,000 students applied to Harvard in 2020, fewer than one in 20 received an admission letter.
Colleges with one of the lowest acceptance rates often appear on lists of the best schools. Thanks to their prestige and reputation, these schools rank among the nation’s most elite institutions of higher education.
To calculate college acceptance rates, we took the total number of admitted students and divided by the total number of applicants. While most schools admit most applicants, many of the most selective colleges report an acceptance rate of under 10%.
We source our data from IPEDS, or the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. This database, created by the National Center for Education Statistics, tracks the number of applicants at each school, the number admitted, and the number enrolled.
IPEDS also monitors standardized test scores, enrollment numbers, and degrees granted. This data offers valuable information for prospective students. This page ranks the schools with the lowest acceptance rates and explains why acceptance rates matter.
Note: IPEDS did not report acceptance rate figures for all of the colleges on our list. We did not, however, want to penalize those colleges without data. To that end, we simply excluded those schools from the rankings in this category.
California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, CA
On the other side of that low acceptance rate, Cal Poly offers a 1,321-acre main campus and a comprehensive education that joins technical and professional curricula with arts and humanities.Acceptance Rate: 31%Net Cost: $18,530Student Retention Rate: 95%
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo is a nationally-ranked public university located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. At 31 percent, the acceptance rate isnt too daunting, especially once applicants learn about Cal Polys 97 percent employment rate and average starting salary of $51,000. The admissions process is so highly competitive that the university received a record of 40,904 undergraduate applications for fall 2010, but only had 4,000 spots to offer.
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What Is The Hardest College To Get Into In Florida
- University of Miami. 4 Year. Coral Gables, FL.
- University of Florida. 4 Year.
- Florida State University. 4 Year.
- University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. 4 Year.
- University of South Florida. 4 Year.
- University of Central Florida. 4 Year.
- University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
- Florida Polytechnic University. 4 Year.
Us Colleges That Are Hardest To Get Into
Colleges with the Lowest Acceptance Rate in America for 2022
These are the most selective public and private four-year colleges in the United States. The list is ranked by acceptance rate, lowest to highest and limited to schools which reject at least half of all applicants. Leading the list is Harvard University which sent acceptance letters to only 5% of the 40,248 students who applied and rejected 95%.
Not all schools on the most selective list are overly academically challenging. Some schools with less rigorous test and high school GPA requirements may receive a large numbers of qualified applicants and the school does not have space to admit them all.
If you’re looking for challenging colleges, you can also explore US rankings of the colleges with the scores, scores and .
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Is Northern Colorado A Good School
University of Northern Colorados ranking in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #298-#389. Undergraduates at University of Northern Colorado can choose from more than 100 bachelors degree programs. The school also offers more than 100 masters degree programs, including in.
University Of British Columbia
- Estimated Acceptance Rate: 53%
- University of British Columbia Scholarships
This university is one of the most prestigious ones in the country. With three Prime Ministers as alumni, including the current Prime Minister , its reputation is one of the best in the continent. Furthermore, the university highly values research and innovation.
This has led it to develop numerous ambitious graduate programs, which are highly focused on diverse projects. Some of the areas that stand out are studies in nuclear and quantum physics. The first Max Planck Institute in the continent was established here.
This university has a unique characteristic. Its the largest higher education institution in the world in which programs are taught in both English and French. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, the quality of its programs makes it a very attractive option for students from all over the world.
Some of the fields studied at this institution include law, medicine, social sciences, and management, to name a few. International students form more than 15% of the student body, and the total population of the institution is estimated at over 40,000 students.
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College Of The Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO
Although the College of the Ozarks has one of the lowest acceptance rates, at least three different sources, including Forbes, consider it one of the best buy colleges.Acceptance Rate: 12%Net Cost: $13,308Student Retention Rate: 74%
Founded in 1906, the College of the Ozarks is a Christian college on a stunning 1,000-acre campus that overlooks Lake Taneycomo and is 40 miles south of Springfield. Not only does this intimate college enroll 1,500 students with a 13:1 student-faculty ratio, but it covers the cost of its hardworking full-timers. Instead of paying tuition, according to the college, All full-time students work campus jobs to defray the cost of education. Once theyve finished the Work Education Program, C of O covers the rest of the cost and produces debt-free graduates.
United States Coast Guard Academy
New London, CT
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy will be challenging and fun, according to Admissions Director Captain Robert McKenna.Acceptance Rate: 18%Net Cost: Tuition, room, and board at the Coast Guard Academy are paid for by the government, according to the Academys website.Student Retention Rate: 92%
The United States Coast Guard Academy was founded in 1876 and today offers a beautiful 103-acre campus along the Thames River, free tuition and a curriculum that includes academics, physical fitness, character and leadership. The 912 enrolled cadets will earn BS degrees and officer commissions in the Coast Guard upon graduation. For the class of 2019, just 291 cadets were admitted out of the 1,948 applicants about 96 percent of those admitted were in the top 50 percent of their high school classes. After graduation, the newly-commissioned ensigns report to their awaiting careers aboard cutters and at sector offices in ports around the nation.
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Why Are College Acceptance Rates Declining
There are lots of factors that have led to this years increase in college applications and its accompanying in college acceptance rates. One of the biggest factors is that more and more schools are becoming test-optional. This means that some colleges no longer require SAT or ACT scores as part of their admissions process. As a result, applying to these schools has become much more accessible. Now, students who do not necessarily test well, or otherwise do not have the resources to take the SATs or ACTs, have more freedom to apply to more schools.
Other factors that have influenced the class of 2026 college acceptance rates include the digitalization of the SAT and an overall increase in student applications. Some colleges, such as Northeastern University, also had to decrease the 2026 class size due to over-enrollment last year.
Introduction: Defining College Acceptance Rates
Throughout your college process, youve probably heard teachers, counselors, Admissions Officers, and fellow students discuss college acceptance rates. But what are college acceptance rates, and how should you evaluate university acceptance rates as you build your college list?
Given todays college admissions landscape, its no surprise that many students fixate on university acceptance rates. In recent years, the college admissions process has grown significantly more competitive. According to Pew Research Center, the average student applied to four colleges in 2002. In 2017, the average student applied to seven collegesa 75% increase. This means that more qualified students apply to each school, causing college acceptance rates to decrease.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused elite university acceptance rates to decrease. Spark Admissions found that the most selective universities saw a significant spike in applications during the pandemic. Most likely, holistic and test-optional policies emboldened many students to apply to competitive schools. While this spike had an overall effect on college acceptance rates, the trend is more pronounced in the most selective universities. These schools are more sensitive to changes in application numbers due to their smaller class sizes and selective admissions process. In other words, the universities already considered the hardest colleges to get into became statistically more difficult in terms of admissions rate.
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How To Get Into Colleges With Low Acceptance Rates
If you’re hoping to attend one of these colleges, you’ll have to do quite a bit of legwork in high school.
For the first group of selective schools, you’ll be expected to maintain a very high GPA and earn elite standardized test scores to meet admissions standards. On top of that, you should think about what your true academic and extracurricular passions are and try to translate those into concrete accomplishments.
To stand out from the crowd, you’ll need to show these schools that you’re capable of more than just high grades and test scores. Their goal is to admit students who will make a strong, positive impact on the world. We give you more tips in our expert guide on how to get into the most selective schools.
For the colleges with low acceptance rates on the second list, the key to acceptance is effective planning and an understanding of exactly what it takes to get in.
If you’re looking at a high-caliber music school, for example, you’ll need to be extremely dedicated to practicing music every day and preparing for your audition. For the military schools, you’ll need to apply for your nomination from a government official well before the application deadline.
All these schools are challenging to get into, but not impossible if you plan ahead and play your cards right. Just remember that such lofty goals will require lots of dedication and effort!
What Do Acceptance Rates Mean
Simply put, college acceptance rates are a ratiothe number of total applicants to accepted students. For example, if 100 people apply to a college and 10 are accepted, the college has a 10% acceptance rate. So, with schools like Harvard University, where 57,786 students applied last year and only 2,320 were accepted, you end up with an acceptance rate of 3.43%. Lowest acceptance rate colleges, like Harvard University, have a well-earned reputation for being the hardest to get into, however, college acceptance rates are only one part of the picture.
College acceptance rates are based on the number of spots available. This means larger schools tend to have more open spots and higher acceptance rates than smaller schools. For example, a larger state school will usually be among the colleges with high acceptance rates. This has no bearing, however, on the quality of education its students receive. Similarly, smaller, private institutions tend to fall into the group of lowest acceptance rate collegetheir student bodies are smaller and open spots each admissions cycle are fewer.
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Analysis Of The 2022 College Acceptance Rates
Many colleges had its most selective admissions season to date, setting record-breaking low numbers for 2022 acceptance rates, including Brown, Harvard, Tufts, and Barnard. At Harvard, 61,220 students applied, resulting in a 7% increase over the 57,435 last year. Harvard accepted 3.19%, the lowest rate in school history, beating the previous low of 3.43%, set last year.
Yale admitted 2,234 students to the class of 2026 from an applicant pool of 50,015, its largest ever. The acceptance rate was 4.46%, lower than any of the three previous years. Brown University offered admission to a total of 2,546 students and it reported its lowest ever acceptance rate from its highest-ever applicant pool of 50,649 students.
Columbia offered admission to 2,253 undergraduate students from a pool of 60,377 applications, a similar application number as last year. Duke continued to be extremely competitivehaving received a record-breaking 50,000+ applications, Duke admitted 2,200 students. NYU received 105,000 applications this year , of which only 12.2% students received offers for their New York campus. Meanwhile, Rice hit a record-low acceptance rate of 8.56% for its admissions cycle.
Tufts and Barnard both offered record low numbers of applicants spots at their schools this year. At Tufts, About 40% of admitted students did not submit SAT/ACT scores, as Tufts enters the second year of a three-year test optional pilot. About half of the applicants did not submit SAT/ACT scores.
Why Do Some Colleges Have Such Low Acceptance Rates
A college can have a low acceptance rate for a variety of reasons. The most common reason for a low acceptance rate is a combination of high academic standards and popularity among prospective students. This happens at Ivy League schools and schools such as Stanford and MIT, which have strong name recognition both in the US and internationally.
As a result of their reputations, these schools get huge numbers of applicants every year. They end up with low acceptance rates because they need to turn away the vast majority of applicants in order to maintain their reputations for academic excellence.
Only the most qualified students are admitted, and even those who technically meet academic standards might be rejected depending on their other credentials. In 2020-2021, an impressive 55,471 students applied to Stanford–and only 2,190 were accepted! That’s an acceptance rate of just 3.9%, giving Stanford one of the lowest college acceptance rates.
Low acceptance rates also happen at schools that have very specific criteria for admission and are popular for other reasons. Military schools such as West Point and the US Naval Academy have low acceptance rates because they require applicants to meet other strict criteria besides academic qualifications. Meanwhile, music schools such as Juilliard might have especially low acceptance rates because they’re only willing to accept extremely talented students in a very specific area of study.
How I imagine auditions for Juilliard.
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United States Military Academy
West Point, NY
The U.S. Military Academy keeps its admissions rate low because it aims to produce only the most qualified leaders for the Army.Acceptance Rate: 10%Net Cost: Tuition, room and board, and expenses are fully paid, according to USMAs website.Student Retention Rate: 95%
The United States Military Academy, also known as West Point Prep, sits just above USNA with its unfriendly admissions rate. But when it comes to an all-expenses-paid college experience that has a job patiently awaiting your graduation, why wouldnt you submit that application? The oldest federal service academy on our list with a founding date of 1802, West Point is entwined with the history of our nation, and it offers 40 different academic majors. The academic program awards students with a BS degree upon graduation, the physical program includes four years of physical education and the military program prepares students to become leaders in the U.S. Army.
Best Colleges With Lowest Acceptance Rates
Some people look for a hurdle and love the prestige that comes with overcoming the odds against them. Some would rather avoid the steep challenges and go the more sure route to college. This list will help both kinds of people. Most of the colleges and universities on this list will not surprise you, but some may.
When the supply of open seats in a college is lower than the demand for those seats, that college will end up with a low acceptance rate. These schools are either just highly popular for what they have to offer, or they are incredibly prestigious and only want the creme de la creme attending their campus.
High scores on your high school grade point average and SAT or ACT will help you to land a spot in the colleges and universities listed here, so your decisions during high school will either place you in the running for a spot or not. Taking rigorous courses during high school also helps you with your eligibility. Earning good grades is acceptable, but if those good grades were earned in AP or Honors courses, you have a definite leg up on your competition when you apply to these colleges or universities.
The Best Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates ranking is based on four main data points in four categories:
Memphis College Of Art
At Memphis College of Art, admitted undergraduate students can choose to earn a BFA in fine arts, design arts, photography, animation, art education and more.Acceptance Rate: 23%Net Cost: $22,689Student Retention Rate: 78%
Established in 1985, Memphis College of Art is a small, private college committed to teaching the practice, history and appreciation of visual art and design. The student body at MCA is less than 500 students and 67 full and part-time faculty members bring the student-faculty ratio to 10:1. The average class size is 17 students. MCA awards more than $5 million annually in institutional aid to its well-deserving students. Those talented enough to earn a place on this campus have access to free gallery exhibitions and artist lectures throughout the year.