America's Hardest Colleges to Get Into

By Jane Gips on January 8 2019 in Society

Stanford was one of the lowest acceptance rates of US universities. Editorial credit: jejim /

The dream of getting an education at the best of the best colleges inspires aspiring students to sacrifice a lot in terms of time, energy and money to achieve this. But joining the best is not as easy because of the stringent requirements imposed by the admission boards that rarely rely on impressive SAT scores alone. As a result, many hopes get dashed when they get rejected despite meeting all requirements. The following are the US universities with the lowest acceptance rates, including Standford, Harvard, and more.

Colleges With 5-6% Acceptance Rate

Stanford - 5%

The private, non-profit university tops this list with a lower acceptance rate of 5% of the total number of applications. Situated in California, Stanford is known for its fiscal endowment, proximity to the world-famous Silicon Valley, and most importantly its academic prowess. For aspiring students to get admitted they have to meet the strict requirements set by the admissions board and they are not just restricted to high SAT scores alone. Due to the high tuition rate which is at $42,690, academic scholarships are also offered to deserving students, both foreign and American students.

Columbia - 6%

At 6%, Columbia University has one of the lowest acceptance rates yet it still attracts tens of thousands of applications every year. Application requirements are very detailed and should an applicant miss one aspect, it could mean automatic disqualification. Since the college is private, it is a member of the Ivy League group of prestigious universities that boasts of producing Nobel Prize winners, billionaires, judges and American presidents like Barrack Obama. Like other Ivy League colleges, the tuition fee is $50,526 excluding accommodation and living expenses. Columbia prides itself as being multi-racial and is located in New York.

Harvard - 6%

Harvard University, the US's oldest university, is found in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has an acceptance rate of 6%. Nicknamed Harvard Crimson thanks to its sports teams, the college has a highly selective admission process that assesses potential students on their personality, athletic and academic ability. For applicants whose parents are Harvard alumni, they are assured of having an easier admission process. The admission policy has been changed over the years to avoid criticism of discrimination against low-income, minority applicants. Harvard also boasts of a long and illustrious number of alumni that have made a difference in the world.

Julliard - 6%

For those who love music, dance and drama, Julliard School is the place for them. With an acceptance rate of 6% for the thousands of applications, getting to this college is not easy. Located in Manhattan (Upper West) New York, the school has programs for undergraduate and pre-college. The admission process of this non-profit college involves auditions, which are important as the written application forms. Invited applicants have to perform an item before a panel before those selected get to meet the program director. A unique aspect of the admission to the pre-college is that applicants must be between the ages of 8-18.

Other Alternatives

While it is important to get a college education, there is need to advice children that such an endeavor should not become a burden to them. Should they fail to get accepted into such universities, they could opt for other colleges that are affordable and less selective.

America's Hardest Colleges to Get Into

Rank´╗┐CollegeAcceptance Rate Percentage (Source: U.S. News)
8University of Chicago8
9Brown University9
10Cal Tech9
11United States Naval Academy9
12Pomona College10
13United States Military Academy10
14University of Pennsylvania10
15Claremont McKenna College11
16Dartmouth College11
17College of the Ozarks12
18Duke University12
19Swarthmore College12
20Vanderbilt University12

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