U.S. Colleges with low acceptance rates

Colleges with the Lowest Acceptance Rate in America for 2022

These are the most selective public and private four-year colleges in the United States. The list is ranked by acceptance rate, lowest to highest and limited to schools which reject at least half of all applicants. Leading the list is Harvard University which sent acceptance letters to only 5% of the 40,248 students who applied and rejected 95%.

Not all schools on the most selective list are overly academically challenging. Some schools with less rigorous test and high school GPA requirements may receive a large numbers of qualified applicants and the school does not have space to admit them all.

If you're looking for challenging colleges, explore US rankings of the colleges with the highest SAT scores, highest ACT scores and highest GPA's.


230 results nationwide

Harvard University
H
Cambridge, MA
Harvard University

Private 4 Year

4 reviews

5% Acceptance Rate

#1 Best Colleges in America

  • 30,391enrollment
  • $18,037net price
  • 1460-1580SAT range
  • 33-35ACT range
  • 4.0Avg GPA

Stanford University
S
Stanford, CA
Stanford University

Private 4 Year

6 reviews

5% Acceptance Rate

#3 Best Colleges in America

  • 15,953enrollment
  • $20,023net price
  • 1420-1570SAT range
  • 31-35ACT range
  • 3.96Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 3

Princeton University
P
Princeton, NJ
Princeton University

Private 4 Year

1 reviews

6% Acceptance Rate

#2 Best Colleges in America

  • 7,853enrollment
  • $18,685net price
  • 1450-1570SAT range
  • 32-35ACT range
  • 3.92Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

California Institute of Technology
C
Pasadena, CA
California Institute of Technology

Private 4 Year

1 reviews

7% Acceptance Rate

#7 Best Colleges in America

  • 2,240enrollment
  • $26,591net price
  • 1530-1580SAT range
  • 35-36ACT range
  • 3.97Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

Yale University
Y
New Haven, CT
Yale University

Private 4 Year

2 reviews

7% Acceptance Rate

#4 Best Colleges in America

  • 12,060enrollment
  • $17,511net price
  • 1460-1580SAT range
  • 33-35ACT range
  • 3.95Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Dec 31

University of Chicago
C
Chicago, IL
University of Chicago

Private 4 Year

3 reviews

7% Acceptance Rate

#6 Best Colleges in America

  • 17,834enrollment
  • $36,584net price
  • 1500-1570SAT range
  • 34-35ACT range
  • 4.2Avg Weighted GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
M
Cambridge, MA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Private 4 Year

2 reviews

7% Acceptance Rate

#8 Best Colleges in America

  • 11,254enrollment
  • $19,998net price
  • 1510-1580SAT range
  • 34-36ACT range
  • 3.96Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

Columbia University in the City of New York
C
New York, NY
Columbia University in the City of New York

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

7% Acceptance Rate

#21 Best Colleges in America

  • 30,135enrollment
  • $22,126net price
  • 1460-1570SAT range
  • 33-35ACT range
  • 3.91Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

The Juilliard School
J
New York, NY
The Juilliard School

Private 4 Year

3 reviews

8% Acceptance Rate

 

  • 961enrollment
  • $41,022net price
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Applications Due Dec 1

Duke University
D
Durham, NC
Duke University

Private 4 Year

5 reviews

8% Acceptance Rate

#5 Best Colleges in America

  • 16,172enrollment
  • $26,932net price
  • 1470-1570SAT range
  • 34-35ACT range
  • 3.94Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 2

Brown University
B
Providence, RI
Brown University

Private 4 Year

2 reviews

8% Acceptance Rate

#11 Best Colleges in America

  • 9,948enrollment
  • $27,659net price
  • 1440-1560SAT range
  • 33-35ACT range
  • 3.94Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

Pomona College
P
Claremont, CA
Pomona College

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

9% Acceptance Rate

 

  • 1,475enrollment
  • $30,392net price
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • 3.89Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Dec 15

Northwestern University
N
Evanston, IL
Northwestern University

Private 4 Year

1 reviews

9% Acceptance Rate

#14 Best Colleges in America

  • 22,603enrollment
  • $28,344net price
  • 1430-1550SAT range
  • 33-35ACT range
  • 3.92Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

Bowdoin College
B
Brunswick, ME
Bowdoin College

Private 4 Year

0 reviews

9% Acceptance Rate

 

  • 1,777enrollment
  • $25,622net price
  • -SAT range
  • -ACT range
  • NAAvg GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

United States Naval Academy
N
Annapolis, Maryland
United States Naval Academy

Public 4 Year

1 reviews

9% Acceptance Rate

 

  • 4,594enrollment
  • -net price
  • 1230-1450SAT range
  • 28-33ACT range
  • 3.8Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Dec 1

Dartmouth College
D
Hanover, NH
Dartmouth College

Private 4 Year

4 reviews

9% Acceptance Rate

#12 Best Colleges in America

  • 6,292enrollment
  • $24,525net price
  • 1440-1560SAT range
  • 32-35ACT range
  • 3.9Estimated Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 1

United States Military Academy
A
West Point, New York
United States Military Academy

Public 4 Year

0 reviews

9% Acceptance Rate

 

  • 4,536enrollment
  • -net price
  • 1210-1440SAT range
  • 28-33ACT range
  • 3.9Avg GPA

Applications Due Jan 31

University of Pennsylvania
P
Philadelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania

Private 4 Year

3 reviews

9% Acceptance Rate

#16 Best Colleges in America

  • 26,552enrollment
  • $24,167net price
  • 1460-1570SAT range
  • 33-35ACT range
  • 3.9Avg Weighted GPA

Applications Due Jan 1