11 Colleges With the Lowest Acceptance Rates

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Colleges With the Lowest Acceptance Rates (1)

With only 3% of student applications being approved by the most prestigious colleges, acceptance rates for elite colleges are extremely low. Students should apply to multiple schools in order to boost their admission prospects given the fierce competition for premium colleges. 

An Ivy League university might only accept 5% of applications, whereas a smaller university might accept 50%. Apart from the Ivy League, it might be extremely challenging to admit students to some universities like Stanford University and Harvard University are the two most exclusive undergraduate institutions. According to statistics provided to U.S. News, 1,410 ranked universities in an annual poll. 

Even high school students with excellent GPAs and exam scores tests need to be aware that they might not be accepted to all of the colleges they apply to. The rivalry among several highly qualified applicants is intense at universities where outstanding grades and test scores are the norm.

Students should not only show excellent academic abilities while applying to the nation’s most prestigious universities but also reveal their personalities in their college essays and through extracurricular activities. They point out that a student’s extracurricular activities and projects, as well as any type of employment, should be mentioned in a college application because they tend to personalize a candidate and highlight their individuality.

Colleges With the Lowest Acceptance Rates - Harvard (1)
Harvard University has an exceptionally-low acceptance rate of just 5%; Image Source: Harvard University

Also Read: Online Courses at Harvard University

It is not just Stanford and Harvard that turn away the majority of their candidates. Including ties, the 11 universities with the lowest acceptance rates accepted fewer than 9% of applications at each institution. The 11 institutions with the lowest percentage of applications accepted for the fall of 2023 are listed below according to US News and World Report- 

UniversityAcceptance RateQS World Ranking 2023 
Harvard University5%5
Stanford University5%3
Princeton University6%16
Columbia University6%22
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)7%1
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)7%6
Duke University8%50
Brown University8%63
Yale University7%18
Alice Lloyd College (KY)7%
University of Chicago7%10

In the above-mentioned list, five of these universities are part of the Ivy League, an exclusive network of colleges on the East Coast that are sometimes seen as a stepping stone to the upper class. Numerous of the non-Ivy colleges on this list, though, are academic giants in their own right.

It’s crucial to remember that these schools are exceptions despite their low acceptance rates because most colleges admit the majority of applicants. 25 schools stated that they accepted 100% of applications, and the average acceptance percentage among all rated universities that provided U.S. News with their admissions figures was 70.1%. 

Also Read: Top Universities in the USA for Higher Education

What Does Low Acceptance Rate Mean?

Colleges with low acceptance rate are extremely selective colleges having high standard of application intake. With thousands of students applying for admission only fewer that 10% of students are offered a place at these colleges.

Tips to Get into these Colleges

The following are the recommended tips to get admission into colleges with the lowest acceptance rates:

  • Keep your academic grade high as these colleges are extremely selective
  • Prepare well for your SAT/ACT exams and achieve a high score in the entrance exams
  • Write a compelling SOP
  • Have highly convincing Letters of Recommendation
  • Apply for various colleges to improve the chance of selection
  • Align your plans with the deadlines of colleges

However, students should always push themselves by submitting applications which have relatively low acceptance rates considering they provide top-notch education along with networking and career opportunities. For more such insights, check out Top Ivy League Acceptance Rates at Leverage Edu.

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