“The thought of applying to university has never stressed me out,” said no one ever. In reality, this is not only a nerve-wracking process but a mega stressful one; and it starts with the pressure of preparing for exams to score certain grades. From another standpoint, though, there’s something else that usually leaves students drained and anxious – the choice of university/college. Furthermore, questions like “Can I do it?” or “Should I pick this one over that one?” are always on the table.
But don’t worry – we’ve got your back. Below you’ll find a practical list of the hardest and easiest universities to get into. To make the selection, we’ve put our trust in essential factors, such as acceptance rates, average SAT and UCAs scores for entry along with the admission process as well. It's never too early to think about the application process.
Some of you might have already narrowed down the list of colleges and universities, but those who have not done it yet would surely want to know what they’re up against. Read on to find out more curious details about it.
21 Columbia University (USA)
Acceptance rate: 5.8%
Average SAT requirements: 1,410–1,590
Best known as one of the oldest and most elite universities around the world, Columbia University features a student-faculty ratio of 6:1, with class sizes below 20 students, carreraddict.com assures. Evidently, the most popular programs here are engineering, biomedical and social sciences. In other words, the competition in this department is quite fierce. ONo wonder brilliant minds, such as famous musicians ( Leonard Cohen), and aviation pioneers (such as Amelia Earhart) attended the respected university.
20 Northwestern University (USA)
Average Acceptance rate: 10.7%
Average SAT requirement: 1,400–1,560
Situated in Evanston, Illinois, most of Northwestern’s major programs are designed for class sizes of 20 or fewer students, as the typical student-faculty ratio goes around 7:1. When it comes to the fierce competition for places, it appears that some disciplines, such as economics, psychology, and journalism, are common choices, www.careeraddict.com reveals.
19 Dartmouth College (USA)
Average Acceptance rate: 10.4%
Average SAT requirements: 1,350–1,560
Set in the picturesque New Hampshire town of Hanover, this popular college features a similar student-faculty ratio to Northwestern, with one exception - the class sizes at Dartmouth College, USA, are usually a bit larger.
With its shiny reputation as a modern research university, Dartmouth College is favored among students for its wide variety of professional programs in disciplines, such as biological sciences and engineering.
18 Duke University (USA)
Average Acceptance rate: 9%
Average SAT requirements: 1,380–1,570
Generally, the university’s most south-after programs are biology, social sciences, and economics. Unsurprisingly, eminent folks, such as Apple CEO Tim Cook as well as current and former NBA stars, such as Kyrie Irving, were also famous graduates from Duke University. Well, there can’t be a coincidence – these guys must have done a good job while studying there.
17 University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) (USA)
Average Acceptance rate: 9.1%
Average SAT requirements: 1,380–1,570
UPenn’s prestigious business school – known as Wharton – regularly draws vast numbers of applications every year. By the way, alumni of UPenn are business magnates, such as Warren Buffet and entrepreneur Elon Musk, careeraddict.com states.
16 Vanderbilt University (USA)
Acceptance rate: 10.9%
Average SAT requirements: 1,420–1,590
Here, at Vanderbilt University, the student-faculty ratio is 8:1. The notably steep SAT results for entry ensures that most students are actually capable of more independent, unique study approaches, careeraddict.com reveals. When it comes to the favored disciplines and programs at Vanderbilt, it seems that most undergraduates are specifically interested in political science, economics, and mathematics. The university’s campus – which is based in Nashville, Tennessee – offers a pretty high number of sorority and fraternity houses.
15 Brown University (USA)
Acceptance rate: 8.3%
Average SAT requirements: 1,370–1,570
With much-favored courses in political science, entrepreneurial studies, and courses in marketing and economics, it’s really no wonder why Brown University is a hard cookie to get. Brown University boasts an open curriculum and a convenient location (in the heart of Providence in Rhode Island) making it quite attractive; however, sadly, the student-faculty ratio is around 7:1. Aside from these details, Brown University is famous for many of its graduates, starting from the lovely Harry Potter actress, Emma Watson, to the media titan Ted Turner.
14 The Juilliard School (USA)
Acceptance rate: 6%
Average SAT requirements: None required
Commonly known as one of the best performing and most prestigious art schools on the planet, Juilliard's Manhattan campus is home to over 600 students, careeraddict.com shares. Interestingly, though, all of these students are required to undergo a pretty tough audition process, if they’re interested in securing their places. Also, the fictional 'Schaffer Conservatory' – which turned out to be subject of the 2014 film Whiplash – is believed to have been based on Juilliard.
13 University of Chicago (USA)
Acceptance rate: 8.7%
Average SAT requirements: 1,450–1,600
Besides being known for its wonderful location – it sits in the gorgeous Hyde Park district of the city – the University of Chicago impresses the world with its student-faculty rate of 5:1. Applicants are most interested in gaining a place on the bench where the most ambitious mathematicians and economists are seated. notable alumni, such as satirist Kurt Vonnegut, astronomer Carl Sagan, and economist Milton Friedman attended this university.
12 Princeton University (USA)
Acceptance rate: 6%
Average SAT requirements: 1,400–1,590
Princeton University is easily one of the oldest universities in America and is, therefore, an unsurprising choice among students. After all, most applicants dream of getting into the world’s most elite universities and colleges where they can become experts in a certain field of knowledge. But regardless of how many dreams they had about being there, only the most intelligent (or hard-working) students eventually gained a spot on PU’s shiny academic scene. The most sought-after studies here are computer engineering, history courses, and economics, each supported by a student-faculty ratio of 5:1.
11 California Institute of Technology (CalTech) (USA)
Acceptance rate: 8%
Average SAT requirements: 1,510–1,600
With an estimated student-faculty ratio of just 3:1, California Institute of Technology remains in a good position where it can absolutely select the best of the best without any problem. Besides gaining excellent test scores, students should be able to display pioneering mindsets as well. Currently, the university features an undergraduate enrolment of roughly 1,000 students, careeraddict.com further explains. CalTech has produced 17 Noble laureates in various fields. In fact, the respected fictitious physicist Sheldon Cooper was also a CalTech professor.
10 Yale University (USA)
Acceptance rate: 6.9%
Average SAT requirements: 1,420–1,600
As a prestigious and popular school, Yale University regularly enjoys the attention of countless applicants every year, careeraddict.com shares. Unsurprisingly, the New Haven campus in Connecticut also boasts professional in-demand courses in political and social sciences as well as a bunch of renowned performing arts programs.
All in all, the university boasts a lovely diversity of famous graduates as well, including eminent stage performers, such as Edward Norton, Meryl Streep, and Claire Danes.
9 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (USA)
Acceptance rate: 7.1%
Average SAT requirements: 1,460–1,590
Unlike MIT, there are at least 3,500 more places available at the Cambridge MA campus. It seeks more creativity and suitability in the process of judging candidates, careeraddict.com says. The reason for it is that MIT has had plans to add a fresh mix of knowledge, innovative culture, and spirit to the place.
8 Stanford University
Acceptance rate: 4.65%
Average SAT requirements: 1,380–1,580
When compared to other elite universities, Stanford’s acceptance rate is noticeably narrower. The prestigious university, nestled in Silicon Valley, boasts pristine surroundings, as it's also located near many influential and promising companies in the country, careeraddict.com shares. Also, the university is well known for its high-quality engineering and technology courses, and it’s pretty easy to see why. Interestingly, the student-faculty ratio here is 4:1. All in all, the university has always encouraged undergraduates to continue pursuing studies in other disciplines as well.
7 Harvard University
Acceptance rate: 5.2%
Average SAT requirements: 1,430–1,600
Among the eminent alumni of Harvard is Microsoft founder Bill Gates. No average mind can ever pass through its doors. There’s always an intensely high caliber of applicants to choose from. No wonder why Harvard has once again claimed the title of one of the hardest universities to get into.
And now the 6 schools anyone can get accepted into...
6 The University of Akron In Akron, OH
Acceptance Rate: 97%
Net Cost: $16,568
Student Retention Rate: 73%
The University of Akron features a pretty attractive cost net of about $16,568. Formerly known as Buchtel College, the university is now a public research center offering courses to students via distance learning. Every year, more than 24,000 students, representing a hundred different foreign countries and over 40 US states, are enrolled in professional programs. Students can choose from 200 undergraduate areas of study, from exercise science to construction engineering technology, jewelry, and metalsmithing.
5 The University of Pikeville In Pikeville, KY
Acceptance Rate: 100%
Net Cost: $16,504
Student Retention Rate: 56%
In 2016, the University of Pikeville enrolled over 1,120 undergraduates and 707 graduate students, greatvaluecolleges.com shares. For the most part, freshmen spend their college days on the 25-acre campus where they can partake in a wide variety of athletic programs and organizations, focusing on leadership, service, and others. Founded in the 1800s and accredited by the SAC and SCC, Pikeville features a pretty good student-teacher ratio of 16:1.
4 Kansas State University In Manhattan, KS
Acceptance Rate: 95%
Net Cost: $16,431
Student Retention Rate: 85%
Established in 1863, Kansas State University is yet another public university with almost 24,000 enrolled students. Accredited from the HLC and the NCACS, Kansas State University in Manhattan is also known as the home of the $1,25 billion National Bio and Agro-defense department, greatvaluecolleges.com notes. The bachelor degree programs offer a nearly 94% job placement rate. Here, at Kansas State University, students can choose from over 250 undergraduate programs, and at least 150 graduate degrees and certificates. Last but certainly not least, the suggested minimum GPA is around 2.0, with an application fee of about $20-30.
3 Governors State University, IL
Acceptance Rate: 94%
Net Cost: $16,143
Student Retention Rate: 55%
Established in 1969, Governors State University has long been known as a four-year public university with the most affordable tuition in the state. The university also offers a wealth of certificate programs and night classes, online classes, and classes at different locations around Chicago, greatvaluecolleges.com says. This surely makes Governors State University an excellent choice for lots of students who cannot afford to go to expensive places, like Stanford or Oxford.
2 The University of Toledo In Toledo, OH
Acceptance Rate: 93%
Net Cost: $15,919
Student Retention Rate: 74%
Founded in 1872, the student-centered university regularly welcomes over 16,000 students from 82 countries and 46 US states. Here, at Toledo, students can take advantage of the part-time and full-time study programs along with evening classes and online education, greatvaluecolleges.com says. All in all, the UT's main campus is home to nine modern residence halls, and a beautiful bell tower with gothic elements, each making the place even more attractive.
1 Western State Colorado University In Gunnison, CO
Acceptance Rate: 98%
Net Cost: $15,780
Student Retention Rate: 69%
Founded in 1901, Western State Colorado University welcomes about 2,539 students and an average class size of 17 every school year. The university's campus is about 30 miles from Crested Butte Mountain Resort and 10 miles from Blue Mesa Reservoir, known as the state’s largest body of water. Western State Colorado University provides over 60 undergraduate academic programs and a few graduate degree programs, including subjects, such as graphic design, wildlife biology, Latin American business, etc. What's more - about 75% of Western’s students get some sort of financial aid, while the application fee there is only $20-30, greatvaluecolleges.com reveals.