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
Mississippi Valley State University 1

Itta Bena, MS

16.1% 4
Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Rice University

Houston, TX

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Williams College

Williamstown, MA

Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT

Southern University—​New Orleans 1

New Orleans, LA

17.4% 4
Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Washington University in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO

University of California—​Berkeley

Berkeley, CA


1 2 3 4 5 6 .. 10

Show 10 schools

College Search

Top College Resources

Looking at colleges? Find out what you need to know.

Studying in the United States
Paying for College
Finding the Right School
Applying to College

Find Accredited Colleges

AA, AS and Other 2-Year Degrees; BA, BS and Other 4-Year Degrees; MA, MS, MBA and Other Master's Degrees; Professional Certificates and Certifications.
Learn More at!