U.S. Colleges that are Hardest to Get Into

Colleges with the Lowest Acceptance Rate in America for 2020

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 Stanford University which sent acceptance letters to only 4% of the 47,452 students who applied and rejected 96%.

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, you can also explore US rankings of the colleges with the highest SAT scores, highest ACT scores and highest GPA's.

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313 Results (0.12 seconds)
    • SAT Range 1390/1540
    • ACT Range 31/34
    • Average HS GPA 3.95
    • Students: 32,723
    • Tuition:$12,424
      Admissions Standards  Exceptionally High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 22%
    photo credit / license

    Georgia Institute of Technology Main Campus

    • SAT Range 1330/1500
    • ACT Range 30/33
    • Average HS GPA 3.59
    • Students: 34,657
    • Tuition:$53,948
      Admissions Standards  Extremely High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 22%
    photo credit / license

    Boston University

    • SAT Range 1050/1300
    • ACT Range 19/23
    • Average HS GPA 3.39
    • Students: 537
    • Tuition:$24,834
      Admissions Standards  Average Requirements
    • Acceptance Rate 22%
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    New York School of Interior Design

    • SAT Range 1270/1450
    • ACT Range 29/33
    • Average HS GPA 3.81*
    • Students: 6,849
    • Tuition:$52,930
      Admissions Standards  Extremely High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 22%
    photo credit / license

    Lehigh University

    • SAT Range 890/1090
    • ACT Range 20/25
    • Average HS GPA NA
    • Students: 660
    • Tuition:$15,000
      Admissions Standards  Very Easy Requirements
    • Acceptance Rate 22%
    • SAT Range N/A
    • ACT Range N/A
    • Average HS GPA 3.2
    • Students: 10,816
    • Tuition:$7,309
    • Acceptance Rate 23%
    • SAT Range N/A
    • ACT Range N/A
    • Average HS GPA NA
    • Students: 1,506
    • Tuition:$49,276
    • Acceptance Rate 23%
    • SAT Range 1330/1510
    • ACT Range 30/34
    • Average HS GPA 3.82
    • Students: 46,716
    • Tuition:$15,262
      Admissions Standards  Exceptionally High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 23%
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    University of Michigan

    • SAT Range 1210/1400
    • ACT Range 23/29
    • Average HS GPA 3.68
    • Students: 1,895
    • Tuition:$7,770
      Admissions Standards  Very High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 23%
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    New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

    • SAT Range 1270/1480
    • ACT Range 29/33
    • Average HS GPA 4.6
    • Students: 30,011
    • Tuition:$8,987
      Admissions Standards  Extremely High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 23%
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    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    • SAT Range 1300/1480
    • ACT Range 30/33
    • Average HS GPA 4.13
    • Students: 1,071
    • Tuition:$55,024
      Admissions Standards  Extremely High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 24%
    photo credit / license

    Scripps College

    • SAT Range 1370/1530
    • ACT Range 30/34
    • Average HS GPA 3.89*
    • Students: 1,716
    • Tuition:$52,392
      Admissions Standards  Exceptionally High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 24%
    photo credit / license

    Grinnell College

    • SAT Range 1270/1450
    • ACT Range 28/32
    • Average HS GPA 3.6
    • Students: 3,357
    • Tuition:$51,104
      Admissions Standards  Extremely High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 24%
    photo credit / license

    Babson College

    • SAT Range N/A
    • ACT Range N/A
    • Average HS GPA NA
    • Students: 1,676
    • Tuition:$38,900
    • Acceptance Rate 24%
    • SAT Range 770/1230
    • ACT Range 15/23
    • Average HS GPA 3.07*
    • Students: 691
    • Tuition:$9,580
      Admissions Standards  Moderate Requirements
    • Acceptance Rate 24%
    • SAT Range 1180/1440
    • ACT Range 26/32
    • Average HS GPA 3.5
    • Students: 2,467
    • Tuition:$50,960
      Admissions Standards  Extremely High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 24%
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    Rhode Island School of Design

    • SAT Range 1320/1510
    • ACT Range 31/34
    • Average HS GPA 3.64
    • Students: 2,969
    • Tuition:$55,870
      Admissions Standards  Exceptionally High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 25%
    photo credit / license

    Colgate University

    • SAT Range 1370/1510
    • ACT Range 31/33
    • Average HS GPA 3.8
    • Students: 2,456
    • Tuition:$56,960
      Admissions Standards  Extremely High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 25%
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    Vassar College

    • SAT Range N/A
    • ACT Range N/A
    • Average HS GPA NA
    • Students: 102
    • Tuition:$6,570
    • Acceptance Rate 25%
    • SAT Range 1330/1500
    • ACT Range 30/34
    • Average HS GPA 4.22
    • Students: 24,639
    • Tuition:$17,653
      Admissions Standards  Exceptionally High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 26%
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    University of Virginia Main Campus

    • SAT Range 1220/1400
    • ACT Range 27/31
    • Average HS GPA 3.75*
    • Students: 2,613
    • Tuition:$54,420
      Admissions Standards  Very High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 27%
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    Skidmore College

    • SAT Range 1140/1200
    • ACT Range 20/24
    • Average HS GPA NA
    • Students: 839
    • Tuition:$12,960
      Admissions Standards  Moderate Requirements
    • Acceptance Rate 27%
    • SAT Range N/A
    • ACT Range N/A
    • Average HS GPA NA
    • Students: 45
    • Tuition:$9,180
    • Acceptance Rate 27%
    • SAT Range 870/1030
    • ACT Range 18/23
    • Average HS GPA 3.19*
    • Students: 644
    • Tuition:$11,550
      Admissions Standards  Extremely Easy Requirements
    • Acceptance Rate 28%
    • SAT Range 1320/1490
    • ACT Range 31/34
    • Average HS GPA 3.86*
    • Students: 14,720
    • Tuition:$55,464
      Admissions Standards  Exceptionally High Standards
    • Acceptance Rate 28%
    photo credit / license

    Boston College