Colleges Hardest to Get Into

Colleges with the Lowest Acceptance Rate in for 2018

These are the most selective colleges in . We've ranked the schools which reject over fifty percent of applicants by rate of acceptance. Leading the list is Stanford University which sent acceptance letters to only 5% of the 43,997 students who applied and rejected 95%. Interestingly, not all schools on our "most selective" lists are overly academically challenging. Schools with less rigorous standardized test and high school GPA requirements may receive a large numbers of qualified applicants and the school does not have the capacity to potentially enroll.

List of Lowest Acceptance Rate Colleges & Universities in
Rank College Percent Admitted Academic Difficulty
1 Stanford University
Stanford, California
43,997 Applicants
5% Very Hard  Chance
2 California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California
6,855 Applicants
8% Very Hard  Chance
3 Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, California
6,342 Applicants
9% Very Hard  Chance
4 Pomona College
Claremont, California
8,102 Applicants
9% Very Hard  Chance
5 Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, California
4,180 Applicants
13% Very Hard  Chance
6 Pitzer College
Claremont, California
4,142 Applicants
14% N/A  Chance
7 University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, California
82,561 Applicants
17% Very Hard  Chance
8 University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
54,280 Applicants
17% Very Hard  Chance
9 University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
97,112 Applicants
18% Very Hard  Chance
10 California Institute of the Arts
Valencia, California
2,258 Applicants
24% N/A  Chance
11 California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, California
48,162 Applicants
29% Very Hard  Chance
12 California State University Long Beach
Long Beach, California
61,808 Applicants
32% Avg+  Chance
13 Hope International University
Fullerton, California
1,006 Applicants
32% Easy  Chance
14 San Diego State University
San Diego, California
60,834 Applicants
35% Hard  Chance
15 California State University Monterey Bay
Seaside, California
16,258 Applicants
35% N/A  Chance
16 University of California San Diego
La Jolla, California
84,208 Applicants
36% Very Hard  Chance
17 University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
77,112 Applicants
36% Very Hard  Chance
18 Pepperdine University
Malibu, California
11,111 Applicants
37% Very Hard  Chance
19 Soka University of America
Aliso Viejo, California
500 Applicants
38% Very Hard  Chance
20 Laguna College of Art and Design
Laguna Beach, California
472 Applicants
39% N/A  Chance
21 University of California Irvine
Irvine, California
77,816 Applicants
41% Hard  Chance
22 Menlo College
Atherton, California
2,195 Applicants
41% Avg+  Chance
23 University of California Davis
Davis, California
68,553 Applicants
42% Very Hard  Chance
24 San Francisco Conservatory of Music
San Francisco, California
424 Applicants
42% N/A  Chance
25 San Diego State University Imperial Valley Campus
Calexico, California
126 Applicants
44% Easy  Chance
26 La Sierra University
Riverside, California
4,021 Applicants
46% Easy  Chance
27 Occidental College
Los Angeles, California
6,409 Applicants
46% Very Hard  Chance
28 Pacific Union College
Angwin, California
2,157 Applicants
47% Avg-  Chance
29 California State University Dominguez Hills
Carson, California
16,642 Applicants
48% N/A  Chance
30 California State University Fullerton
Fullerton, California
44,493 Applicants
48% Avg-  Chance
31 California State University Northridge
Northridge, California
32,913 Applicants
48% Easy  Chance
32 Holy Names University
Oakland, California
974 Applicants
48% Easy  Chance
33 University of La Verne
La Verne, California
8,072 Applicants
48% Avg+  Chance
34 Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, California
15,834 Applicants
48% Very Hard  Chance