List of Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates

College rankings are a great way to find the best colleges for you. With our new 2021 college rankings, we ranked the colleges with the lowest acceptance rates. These colleges offer a variety of different programs and disciplines, and they’re perfect for students who want to have a unique college experience.

Take a look at this list of top 100 colleges below and consider which one is right for you based on your impressive GPAs and academic credentials.

10 Colleges with Low Acceptance Rates

  1. Stanford University – Stanford, California: 3.9%
  2. Columbia University – New York City, New York: 3.9%
  3. Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts: 4.0%
  4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Cambridge, Massachusetts: 4.1%
  5. Curtis Institute of Music – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 4.2%
  6. Princeton University – Princeton, New Jersey: 4.4%
  7. University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois: 6.2%
  8. Juilliard School – New York City, New York: 6.2%
  9. Yale University – New Haven, Connecticut: 6.3%
  10. Alice Lloyd College – Pippa Passes, Kentucky: 7.1%

Hardest Colleges To Get into With Less than 10% Acceptance Rate

Any college that has an acceptance rate of less than 15% is a reach school for all students

School Name# of Applicants*Acceptance RateAverage SATAverage ACT
Johns Hopkins27,2567.1%151034

Colleges with Lowest Acceptance Rates – 10% and above

We ranked the hardest colleges with low acceptance rates that might be a good fit for your needs. Take a look at this list of top schools below and consider which one is right for you!

Colby CollegeWaterville, ME10%
Cornell UniversityIthaca, NY11%
Rice UniversityHouston, TX11%
Tulane UniversityNew Orleans, LA11%
Amherst CollegeAmherst, MA12%
Vanderbilt UniversityNashville, TN12%
Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA13%
Claremont McKenna CollegeClaremont, CA13%
The United States Air Force AcademyUSAF Academy, CO13%
The United States Coast Guard AcademyNew London, CT13%
University of Science and Arts of OklahomaChickasha, OK13%
Barnard CollegeNew York, NY14%
Bates CollegeLewiston, ME14%
College of the Ozarks PointLookout, MO14%
Colorado CollegeColorado Springs, CO14%
University of California – Los AngelesLos Angeles, CA14%
Wiley CollegeMarshall, TX15%
Williams CollegeWilliamstown, MA15%
Franklin W. Olin College of EngineeringNeedham, MA16%
Tufts UniversityMedford, MA16%
The United States Merchant Marine AcademyKings Point, NY16%
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA16%
Washington University in St. LouisSt. Louis, MO16%
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, PA17%
Georgetown UniversityWashington, DC17%
Pitzer CollegeClaremont, CA17%
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and ArtNew York, NY18%
Hamilton CollegeClinton, NY 18%18%
Harvey Mudd CollegeClaremont, CA18%
Haverford CollegeHaverford, PA18%
University of California – BerkeleyBerkeley, CA18%
Emory UniversityAtlanta, GA19%
Grinnell CollegeGrinnell, IA19%
Texas Wesleyan UniversityFort Worth, TX19%
University of Notre DameNotre Dame, IN19%
Boston UniversityBoston, MA20%
Davidson CollegeDavidson, NC20%
Northeastern UniversityBoston, MA20%
Wellesley CollegeWellesley, MA20%
Carleton CollegeNorthfield, MN21%
Georgia Institute of TechnologyAtlanta, GA21%
Laboure CollegeMilton, MA21%
New York UniversityNew York, NY21%
Philander Smith CollegeLittle Rock, AR21%
Webb InstituteGlen Cove, NY21%
Wesleyan UniversityMiddletown, CT21%
Kettering CollegeKettering, OH22%
Middlebury CollegeMiddlebury, VT22%
University of VirginiaCharlottesville, VA23%
New York School of Interior DesignNew York, NY24%
Ottawa UniversityOttawa, KS24%
University of North Carolina – Chapel HillChapel Hill, NC24%
Washington and Lee UniversityLexington, VA24%
California Institute of the ArtsValencia, CA25%
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceLos Angeles, CA25%
Vassar CollegePoughkeepsie, NY 25%25%
Arkansas Baptist CollegeLittle Rock, AR26%
Boston CollegeChestnut Hill, MA26%
Calumet College of St. JosephWhiting, IN26%
Inter American University of Puerto Rico – Metropolitan CampusSan Juan, PR26%
University of Michigan – Ann ArborAnn Arbor, MI26%
Babson CollegeBabson Park, MA27%
Colgate UniversityHamilton, NY 27%27%
Rhode Island School of DesignProvidence, RI27%
Cabarrus College of Health SciencesConcord, NC28%
Denison UniversityGranville, OH28%
Mississippi CollegeClinton, MS29%
Point UniversityWest Point, GA29%
St Luke’s CollegeSioux City, IA29%
University of North Carolina School of the ArtsWinston-Salem, NC29%
Case Western Reserve UniversityCleveland, OH30%
Galen College of Nursing – LouisvilleLouisville, KY30%
Purdue University – NorthwestHammond, IN30%
University of California – IrvineIrvine, CA30%
Art Academy of CincinnatiCincinnati, OH31%
Davis CollegeBible School Park, NY31%
Johnson University (FL)Kissimmee, FL31%
University of FloridaGainesville, FL31%

The list is based on data from various sources, including U.S. News & World Report and rankings, it includes a variety of schools, both public and private.

Helen Vlasova
Helen is the co-founder of, a career guidance website for students and young professionals. She has a degree in English from the University of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.

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