Top 100 - Lowest Acceptance Rates

Many students aspire for admission to a prestigious college or university, but the supply of open seats often does not meet the demand from applicants. Earning admission to the schools on this list can be especially difficult. With the lowest acceptance rates among all undergraduate institutions surveyed by U.S. News, regardless of ranking category, the 100 colleges and universities listed here are among the most selective, based on the fall 2012 entering class.

School Fall 2012 acceptance rate
Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

6.1%
Stanford University

Stanford, CA

6.6%
Curtis Institute of Music

Philadelphia, PA

6.8%
United States Naval Academy

Annapolis, MD

6.8%
Cooper Union

New York, NY

7.0%
Yale University

New Haven, CT

7.1%
Juilliard School

New York, NY

7.3%
Columbia University

New York, NY

7.4%
Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

7.9%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

9.0%
United States Military Academy

West Point, NY

9.0%
College of the Ozarks

Point Lookout, MO

9.5%
Brown University

Providence, RI

9.6%
Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

9.8%
United States Air Force Academy

USAF Academy, CO

9.9%
Alice Lloyd College

Pippa Passes, KY

10.2%
California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

11.8%
United States Merchant Marine Academy

Kings Point, NY

12.4%
University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

12.6%
Amherst College

Amherst, MA

13.0%
Pomona College

Claremont, CA

13.0%
University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

13.2%
Duke University

Durham, NC

13.4%
Claremont McKenna College

Claremont, CA

13.6%
Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA

14.2%
Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

14.2%
Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

15.3%
Pitzer College

Claremont, CA

15.7%
Bowdoin College

Brunswick, ME

15.8%
United States Coast Guard Academy

New London, CT

15.9%
Mississippi Valley State University 1

Itta Bena, MS

16.1% 4
Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

16.6%
Rice University

Houston, TX

16.7%
Georgetown University

Washington, DC

17.0%
Williams College

Williamstown, MA

17.0%
Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT

17.2%
Southern University—​New Orleans 1

New Orleans, LA

17.4% 4
Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

17.7%
Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO

17.9%
University of California—​Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

18.0%
Berklee College of Music

Boston, MA

19.2%
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Needham, MA

19.2%
Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, CA

19.2%
Albany State University

Albany, GA

19.5%
Washington and Lee University

Lexington, VA

19.5%
University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

19.9%
Brescia University

Owensboro, KY

20.5%
Wesleyan University

Middletown, CT

20.9%
Kentucky Wesleyan College

Owensboro, KY

21.2%
Tufts University

Medford, MA

21.4%

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