U.S. Colleges Hardest to Get Into

Colleges with the Lowest Acceptance Rate in America for 2019

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 39,506 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 College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, Missouri
3,250 Applicants
13% Avg+  Chance
22 Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
New York, New York
2,574 Applicants
13% Very Hard  Chance
23 Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
47,039 Applicants
13% Very Hard  Chance
24 Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Needham, Massachusetts
1,062 Applicants
13% Very Hard  Chance
25 Bowdoin College
Brunswick, Maine
7,251 Applicants
14% N/A  Chance
26 Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, California
4,078 Applicants
15% Very Hard  Chance
27 Colorado College
Colorado Springs, Colorado
8,223 Applicants
15% N/A  Chance
28 Tufts University
Medford, Massachusetts
21,101 Applicants
15% Very Hard  Chance
29 Williams College
Williamstown, Massachusetts
8,593 Applicants
15% Very Hard  Chance
30 University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
102,225 Applicants
16% Very Hard  Chance
31 Pitzer College
Claremont, California
3,753 Applicants
16% N/A  Chance
32 University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
56,676 Applicants
16% Very Hard  Chance
33 Wesleyan University
Middletown, Connecticut
12,360 Applicants
16% N/A  Chance
34 Georgetown University
Washington, District Of Columbia
21,462 Applicants
16% Very Hard  Chance
35 Colby College
Waterville, Maine
11,190 Applicants
16% Very Hard  Chance
36 Washington University in St Louis
Saint Louis, Missouri
30,463 Applicants
16% Very Hard  Chance
37 Rice University
Houston, Texas
18,063 Applicants
16% Very Hard  Chance
38 University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, California
85,044 Applicants
17% Very Hard  Chance
39 Middlebury College
Middlebury, Vermont
8,909 Applicants
17% Very Hard  Chance
40 University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana
19,564 Applicants
19% Very Hard  Chance