U.S. Colleges Hardest to Get Into

Colleges with the Lowest Acceptance Rate in America for 2018

These are the most selective colleges in the United States. We've ranked the schools which reject over fifty percent of applicants by rate of acceptance. Leading the list is Harvard University which sent acceptance letters to only 5% of the 39,041 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 America
Rank College Percent Admitted Academic Difficulty
21 Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
27,852 Applicants
13% Very Hard  Chance
22 Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
7,717 Applicants
13% Very Hard  Chance
23 Pitzer College
Claremont, California
4,142 Applicants
14% N/A  Chance
24 Amherst College
Amherst, Massachusetts
8,396 Applicants
14% Very Hard  Chance
25 Tufts University
Medford, Massachusetts
20,223 Applicants
14% Very Hard  Chance
26 College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, Missouri
2,862 Applicants
14% Avg+  Chance
27 Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
44,965 Applicants
14% Very Hard  Chance
28 Bowdoin College
Brunswick, Maine
6,799 Applicants
15% N/A  Chance
29 Rice University
Houston, Texas
18,236 Applicants
15% Very Hard  Chance
30 Colorado College
Colorado Springs, Colorado
7,894 Applicants
16% N/A  Chance
31 Oak Hills Christian College
Bemidji, Minnesota
110 Applicants
16% Easy  Chance
32 Middlebury College
Middlebury, Vermont
8,819 Applicants
16% Very Hard  Chance
33 University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, California
82,561 Applicants
17% Very Hard  Chance
34 University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
54,280 Applicants
17% Very Hard  Chance
35 Georgetown University
Washington, District Of Columbia
19,997 Applicants
17% Very Hard  Chance
36 Washington University in St Louis
Saint Louis, Missouri
29,197 Applicants
17% Very Hard  Chance
37 University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
97,112 Applicants
18% Very Hard  Chance
38 Wesleyan University
Middletown, Connecticut
11,928 Applicants
18% N/A  Chance
39 Williams College
Williamstown, Massachusetts
6,985 Applicants
18% Very Hard  Chance
40 University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana
19,505 Applicants
19% Very Hard  Chance