The Toughest College To Get Into In Every State

Once you’re finished with high school, whats next? In October 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 69.1 percent of high school graduates from the class of 2018 were enrolled in a college or university. Continuing with higher education is an increasingly popular move by many people once they finish high school. Applicants mustn’t forget that some schools are more selective than others, though, and they need to take that factor into consideration when choosing where to study. Continue reading to find out each state’s most difficult university to get into.

Arizona: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott

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embry_riddle_prescott/Instagram

As the name suggests, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott is an aerospace-focused university. However, this is far more than a flight school. Founded in 1926, this institution offers courses concerning the business and science behind aviation and aerospace.

The school’s admission rate is 76.5% with a net price of attendance at $34,120. Acceptable SAT scores are at the 75th percentile, around 1350, so it isn’t entirely out of reach to attend this excellent university.

Alabama: University of West Alabama

university of west alabama
University of West Alabama/Facebook
University of West Alabama/Facebook

In Livingston, Alabama rests the University of West Alabama. Founded in 1835, this public university has an enrollment of 1,843 and the most popular majors range from liberal arts to humanities and kinesiology.

The SAT range is between 860 and 1020, with an acceptance rate of 28 percent. Graduates can expect to have an average starting salary of $26,400 once they’re finished. The only negative is that the graduation rate is currently 33 percent, so it’d be best to remain focused if you attend this university.

Alaska: University of Alaska Fairbanks

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gracemillerak/Instagram

Outside of the cold weather, Alaska provides potential students with an excellent chance to get a quality education. The University of Alaska has six campuses, including the flagship Fairbanks campus, one community college, and an online portal.

Research focal points include forestry, agriculture, arctic research, and marine sciences. For being the top university in the state, it won’t cost as much as you think with an annual net price of attendance at $9,010. If you score between 1030 and 1270 on the SAT, then you’re between the 25th and 75h percentiles for the institution.

California: California Institute of Technology

Cal Tech fountain
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Twitter/DVHS17futures

Stanford and UC Berkely were close, but California Institue of Technology is the hardest to get into in California. Caltech is a doctorate-granting research university found in southern California. It’s known for its natural science and engineering programs.

The admission rate is 7.7%, and the annual net price of attendance is $24,466. The SAT numbers at the 25th and 75th percentiles are 1530 and 1590, respectively. This university consistently ranks among the world’s best like MIT, Oxford, and Harvard.

Colorado: United States Air Force Academy

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katewarda/Instagram

Located just outside of Colorado Springs, the United States Air Force Academy came about in 1954 and is the most recently founded of the five U.S. military service academies. This institution only accepts recent high school graduates and has an age limit of 23.

The admission rate is currently 11.9%. The university focuses on developing military personnel, so if that’s your objective, this could be the place is for you. Lastly, graduates must agree to complete at least five years of active duty in the Air Force and three years of active reserve officer duty.

Delaware: University of Delaware

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The most selective college in Delaware is to the University of Delaware, based in Newark. This public research university has a total enrollment of around 24,100 undergrad and graduate students throughout its seven colleges.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report said the University of Delaware had the highest-ranking graduate program for physical therapy. You can expect to spend $16,286 on the net price of annual attendance. The current admission rate is 62.9%, so you wouldn’t be betting against yourself if you’ve scored at least 1130 on the SAT.

Arkansas: University of Arkansas

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Lance King/Replay Photos via Getty Images

The University of Arkansas is the most academically robust college to get into in the state. Founded in 1871, this institution has an admission rate of 66%, and in 2018, the average student high school GPA average was 3.69.

It may be the hardest to get into in Arkansas, but by those standards, a focused student shouldn’t find any trouble to get admitted. There are strong programs in animal sciences, law, and Middle Eastern studies.

Connecticut: Yale University

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Yana Paskova/Getty Images

If you’re looking to get into the toughest school in Connecticut, we wish you good luck. Founded in 1701 as a theology school, Yale University is now one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Yale has an admission rate of 6.9% and is one of the world’s leading research universities. To say it’s competitive to get in would be an understatement. It’s intimidating that Yale is on the way to being even harder to get into.

Florida: University Of Miami

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Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

With so many great schools in Flordia, figuring out which one is the most competitive to get into would be tough on your own. Thankfully, we’re here to tell you that the University of Miami holds that position with a 35.7% admission rate.

Despite having a reputation as a party school, this institution is also a reputable private research university. In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Miami number 46 on the best U.S. colleges list.

Georgia: Emory University

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emoryuniversity/Instagram

The private institution of Emory University has a strong liberal arts college and is a leading medical school. This Atlanta-based institution is the hardest to get into in the state of Georgia and has an admission rate of 22%.

The 25th and 75th percentiles in the SAT are 1350 and 1520, respectively. There are 11 colleges and schools here that focus on public health, medicine, nursing, business, and law. Some notable alumni include six Pulitzer Prize winner.

Hawaii: Brigham Young University-Hawaii

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panninee/Instagram

BYU-Hawaii has a religious past. Founded in 1955 on Oahu island, it was apart of a global expansion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The focus here is on mathematics, liberal arts, and management throughout the four colleges.

The admission rate is 36.8%, and the net price of attendance comes in at $12,155. Scoring between 1090 and 1253 on the SAT puts you in the 25th and 75th percentiles. If spiritual and secular learning is something you’re interested in, this could be the university for you.

Indiana: University of Notre Dame

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Joe Robbins / Getty Images

One of the more popular colleges for college sports, the University of Notre Dame is also the hardest to get into in Indiana. This is a private non-profit, Catholic research university founded in 1842.

The admission rate falls right around 18.9% with about 12,000 who enroll each year. Your best bet for entry would be scoring near 1520 on your SAT. Once in, the University of Notre Dame offers students programs in social sciences, the humanities, engineering, and business.

Illinois: University Of Chicago

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Ralf-Finn Hestoft/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

With plenty of top universities in Illinois, none are higher than the University of Chicago. The institution of higher learning came about in 1890 and is a private nonprofit research university.

The admission rate is 8.7%, and you’d have to score at least 1580 on the SAT to be in the 75th percentile of students. Six professional schools focus on different subjects ranging from law and public policy. It’s going to cost you $34,834 a year to attend.

Idaho: Northwest Nazarene University

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rachelgnews/Instagram

Initially founded as a Bible and elementary school in 1913, Northwest Nazarene University would eventually become a private liberal arts college. The campus is small, but that doesn’t stop it from being the top university in Idaho.

With an enrollment of around 2,000 undergrad and graduate students, the admission rate is 73.4%. Like BYU-Hawaii, this institution focuses on spiritual and secular education at its two colleges. A bonus is that the school offers a stellar athletics program even with being so small.

Iowa: Grinnell College

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perficut/Instagram

Getting into Grinnell College, located in Iowa, isn’t a cakewalk. The college has a 28.9% admission rate and those in the 75th percentile for the SAT score 1510. Founded in 1848, Grinnell is a private liberal arts college that isn’t as crowded as some of the others on this list.

The college offers degree programs in science, the humanities, and social studies on the small campus with an enrollment of about 1,600. Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Hodierne attended this college.

Kansas: McPherson College

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mcphersoncollege/Instagram

Founded in 1887, McPherson College is a four-year liberal arts college in Mcpherson, Kansas. Leaders of the Church of Brethren founded this college consisting of about 700 students. It offers 21 majors and ten pre-professional programs.

If you happen to get past the 48.5% admission rate, some of the programs you can choose from are chemistry, music, business administration, and psychology. There’s an emphasis on entrepreneurship and on prepping students for life after they graduate. Overall, McPherson College has some of the most diverse offerings out of the schools on this list.

Maryland: Johns Hopkins University

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JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images

Not only is Johns Hopkins University the hardest to get into in Maryland, but it’s one of the top schools in America. Named after the American Quaker and university benefactor, Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876.

The private research institution enrolls around 24,000 full and part-time students on a 12.5% admission rate. The school has nine academic divisions, and its Applied Physics Laboratory plays a crucial role in U.S. space exploration.

Maine: Colby College

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Gregory Rec/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Founded in 1813 as a literary and theological institution, Colby College is now a private liberal arts college. The institute offers 58 majors and 35 minors, and despite the smaller size of the college, there is an extensive study-abroad program.

With a 15.8% admission rate, you can expect to need at least 1340 on the SAT to feel safe about getting accepted. Undergraduates are provided with sufficient research opportunities as well, despite the small size.

Louisiana: Tulane University

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Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Tulane University takes the crown for the hardest university to gain admission to in Louisiana. Founded as a medical college in 1834, Tulane University is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans.

There are 70 major offerings among the five schools, and there is a requirement that students perform local community service as part of their curriculum. That tradition dates back to when Tulane medical students did their part in combating local outbreaks of yellow fever in the 1800s. The admission rate is currently 21.5%.

Kentucky: Berea College

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bushcollegecounseling/Instagram

Berea College broke ground in 1855 after being founded as the first interracial and coeducational college in the south. The institution doesn’t charge tuition and only admits academically promising students. The admission rate is 35.1%.

Many of those admitted come from the surrounding area and have limited economic resources. The student population is about 1,600, and there are offerings of degrees in the arts or sciences in 28 fields. Due to there being no tuition, students work for the campus in various capacities.

Massachusetts: Harvard University

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Darren McCollester/Newsmakers
Darren McCollester/Newsmakers

Massachusetts is home to several elite colleges such as MIT, Tufts University, and Boston College. As superb as those are, they still aren’t as hard to get into as Harvard University.

Harvard boasts a 5.2% admission rate, and you need to score at least 1460 on the SAT to have a chance. Harvard is the country’s oldest university and is also the world’s wealthiest thanks to a $39 billion endowment from 2018. The university has 48 Nobel laureates among its notable alumni.

Michigan: University Of Michigan-Ann Arbor

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The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor was founded in 1817, two decades before Michigan officially became a state. In 2018, this university ranked top ten in the nation as the best college to get your money’s worth.

This institution offers over 275 degree programs, and its athletics program is robust. With a 26.5% admission rate, it’s particularly hard to get in, especially after the National Science Foundation ranked UMich one of the best public universities for research.

Minnesota: Carleton College

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DARLENE PFISTER/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Although there are many robust universities in Minnesota, they all fall behind 1866-founded Carleton College. This college operates on a trimester system of three ten-week terms over the year. That’s the first of its kind on this list.

Nearly 2,000 undergraduates attend each year and have a selection of 33 majors and 31 minors to choose from. The admission rate is on the lower side at 21.2%, so combine that with the small student population, and you see why it’s so hard to get in here.

Mississippi: Mississippi College

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Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Mississippi College holds the distinction of being the first college in the country to give a degree to a woman in 1831, though Wesleyan College in Georgia disputes that claim. Still, this private college holds a ton of history.

There are over 130 graduate and undergraduate fields of study, including medical sciences and law. With around 5,000 students enrolled, there is a 39% admission rate. The annual net price of attendance is $17,098, so it won’t cost students that much to get the best education from Mississippi.

Missouri: Washington University In St. Louis

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Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Washington University in St. Louis has some of the best undergrad programs in the country, including counseling, teaching, and engineering. Founded in 1853, this private university produced two dozen Nobel laureates.

Getting in is tough, as there is a 16% admission rate to go along with a score of 1570 in the SAT (placing you in the 75th percentile). This is the school many students go to when they don’t get accepted into an Ivy League university.

Montana: Rocky Mountain College

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taco_theminiaussie/Instagram

Founded in 1878, Rocky Mountain College is historically aligned with the Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church. There’s a reasonably high admission rate at 64.4% but it doesn’t detract from this being the hardest university to get into in Montana.

Rocky Mountain College is a private school that offers a handful of majors and four post-graduate programs in accounting, education, occupational therapy, and physician assistant studies. There are only about 1,000 students on campus.

Nebraska: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

lincoln
Yiming Chen/Contributor
Yiming Chen/Contributor

UNL (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) is Nebraska’s oldest university, founded in 1869. This is the state’s flagship university, as it is also home to the Huskers athletic program. It might be the hardest to gain admission to, but it’s also where the majority want to attend in Nebraska.

The admission rate is 64.4%, so that leaves the door open some if you’re interested in going here. UNL is a public university with a large student population consisting of over 25,000 students in fall 2018.

New Jersey: Princeton University

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Oliver Morris/Getty Images

Princeton University has a prestigious history. Founded in 1746, the Ivy League university is one of the top private research universities in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio is five to one. That means students are able to get quality one-on-one attention with professors.

If you apply to Princeton, it’s great to keep in mind that the admission rate is merely 6.4%. Not only is it tough to get in, but it’s even tougher once you’re there.

New Hampshire: Dartmouth College

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Darren McCollester/Newsmakers
Darren McCollester/Newsmakers

Like Harvard and Princeton, Dartmouth College is one of the premier schools in the nation. The college based in Hanover, New Hampshire was founded in 1769, making it one of the oldest in the country.

Considered an Ivy League-level private research university, the admission rate is barely 10.4%, so not just anyone is getting in there. Those in the 75th percentile scored 1560 on the SAT, and those in the 25th received 1430. There is no easy way into Dartmouth.

Nevada: Sierra Nevada College

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sierranevadacollege/Instagram

Sierra Nevada College is the youngest school on this list. Founded in 1969, the private, liberal arts college found on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. The institution focuses on creative writing, environmental science, humanities, and teacher education.

Due to being close to Nevada’s ski slopes, the college also offers courses in ski area management. Your chance of gaining admission is 69%, so that isn’t too bad of an outlook. There are more than 20 undergraduate majors across six departments here as well.