Colleges with the Lowest Acceptance Rates in US

Ranking Institution name Control Acceptance Rate
1
Big Pine, California
Private For-Profit 8%
2
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Private Non-Profit 8%
3
San Francisco, California
Public 11%
4
Marion, Indiana
Public 12%
5
Morgantown, West Virginia
Private Non-Profit 13%
6
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Private Non-Profit 13%
7
Neenah, Wisconsin
14%
8
Harrisonville, Missouri
Public 14%
9
New Castle, Pennsylvania
Private Non-Profit 15%
10
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Private For-Profit 15%
11
Taylor, Michigan
Private For-Profit 15%
12
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Private Non-Profit 15%
13
Utica, New York
Private Non-Profit 17%
14
Willimantic, Connecticut
Private Non-Profit 17%
15
New York, New York
Private Non-Profit 18%
16
Plattsburgh, New York
Public 18%
17
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Private Non-Profit 19%
18
Yankton, South Dakota
Private Non-Profit 19%
19
Nashua, New Hampshire
Private Non-Profit 20%
20
Yonkers, New York
Private Non-Profit 24%
21
Utica, New York
Private Non-Profit 24%
22
Gering, Nebraska
Private Non-Profit 25%
23
Lynwood, California
Private Non-Profit 25%
24
Utica, New York
Private Non-Profit 26%
25
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Public 27%
26
Port Huron, Michigan
Private For-Profit 27%
27
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Private Non-Profit 28%
28
Charlotte, North Carolina
Public 28%
29
Elmsford, New York
Public 29%
30
Chicago, Illinois
Private Non-Profit 29%
31
Schenectady, New York
Private Non-Profit 29%
32
Glen Cove, New York
Private Non-Profit 30%
33
New York, New York
Private Non-Profit 30%
34
Lewiston, Maine
Private Non-Profit 30%
35
Chicago, Illinois
Private For-Profit 30%
36
Bourne, Massachusetts
Public 30%
37
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Private For-Profit 30%
38
Kirksville, Missouri
Public 31%
39
Sikeston, Missouri
Public 31%
40
Hanover, Pennsylvania
Public 31%
41
Marshall, Missouri
Public 32%
42
Binghamton, New York
Public 33%
43
Henrico, Virginia
Public 33%
44
Indianapolis, Indiana
33%
45
Teaneck, New Jersey
Private Non-Profit 33%
46
Hannibal, Missouri
Public 33%
47
Fall River, Massachusetts
Public 34%
48
Eolia, Missouri
Public 35%
49
Yorktown Heights, New York
Public 35%
50
Atlanta, Georgia
Public 37%

Apart from mid-range colleges and those easiest-to-get-into, a lot of students aim to be admitted into the most prestigious colleges. These usually are the hardest to get into. Such colleges have very low acceptance rates, admitting only 5 to 15 percent of all students applied. Students enrolled in these colleges usually have scored very high on their SAT/ACT tests.

Harvard university in Massachusetts, for example, has an acceptance rate of only 5.8%, Yale – 7.1% and Princeton – 7.4% respectively. California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, has a somewhat higher rate, accepting 10.6 % of students. All these universities are in the list of 20 hardest colleges to get into in the country.

You will be able to find a complete list of colleges with the lowest admission rates on our web site. The list does not, however, include colleges providing education to less than 100 full-time undergrads, and community-type schools.


Data provided by U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences nces.ed.gov