Colleges Hardest to Get Into

Colleges with the Lowest Acceptance Rate in for 2019

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 44,073 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
44,073 Applicants
5% Very Hard  Chance
2 California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, California
7,339 Applicants
8% Very Hard  Chance
3 Pomona College
Claremont, California
9,045 Applicants
8% Very Hard  Chance
4 Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, California
6,349 Applicants
10% Very Hard  Chance
5 Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, California
4,078 Applicants
15% Very Hard  Chance
6 University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
102,225 Applicants
16% Very Hard  Chance
7 Pitzer College
Claremont, California
3,753 Applicants
16% N/A  Chance
8 University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
56,676 Applicants
16% Very Hard  Chance
9 University of California Berkeley
Berkeley, California
85,044 Applicants
17% Very Hard  Chance
10 California Institute of the Arts
Valencia, California
2,265 Applicants
24% N/A  Chance
11 California State University Long Beach
Long Beach, California
63,048 Applicants
28% Avg+  Chance
12 Hope International University
Fullerton, California
786 Applicants
28% Avg-  Chance
13 University of California Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
81,824 Applicants
33% Very Hard  Chance
14 Laguna College of Art and Design
Laguna Beach, California
774 Applicants
33% N/A  Chance
15 University of California San Diego
La Jolla, California
88,446 Applicants
34% Very Hard  Chance
16 California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, California
48,588 Applicants
35% Very Hard  Chance
17 San Diego State University
San Diego, California
60,910 Applicants
35% Hard  Chance
18 University of California Irvine
Irvine, California
85,092 Applicants
37% Hard  Chance
19 Soka University of America
Aliso Viejo, California
489 Applicants
37% Very Hard  Chance
20 Pepperdine University
Malibu, California
11,704 Applicants
40% Very Hard  Chance