right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Upcoming changes to the way we log in on College Confidential. Read more here.

13 Colleges With the Lowest Acceptance Rates

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2649 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
"... While applicants to these 13 schools face long-shot odds for acceptance, that isn't true at the majority of schools across the U.S. In fact, the national average acceptance rate at the 1,363 ranked schools that provided acceptance rate data to U.S. News was 67% in fall 2018. Broken down, that means two out of three students were accepted last year at schools to which they applied.

The most selective schools, however, accept only small proportions of applicants. Stanford University in California, the college with the lowest reported acceptance rate among ranked schools, only took in 4% of applicants in fall 2018.: ...

https://news.yahoo.com/13-colleges-lowest-acceptance-rates-140000299.html
24 replies
· Reply · Share
«1

Replies to: 13 Colleges With the Lowest Acceptance Rates

  • merc81merc81 10601 replies164 threads Senior Member
    They may want to check their math:
    According to U.S. News data, the average SAT score for students admitted to Stanford in fall 2018 was 1420 . . . . Admitted students in the 25th-75th percentile range scored between 720-800 on the math section and 700-770 on the evidence-based reading and writing portion.
    · Reply · Share
  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1454 replies35 threads Senior Member
    ^That may not be incorrect. Not sure where they obtained average scores from, but mathematically, these numbers could be consistent.
    · Reply · Share
  • merc81merc81 10601 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 13
    I understand your reasoning, @1NJParent. However, USN does not publish average scores in its guides, so they'd lack easily accessible data for this figure. By appearance, they seem to have taken the total of the 25th percentile scores for their "average." They also seem to use "admitted" to describe matriculating students.
    edited November 13
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 8791 replies101 threads Senior Member
    edited November 13
    The 13 schools with the lowest acceptance rate are (according to the article):

    1) Stanford---4%

    2) Harvard--5%
    2) Princeton--5%

    4) Columbia--6%
    4) Yale--6%

    6) CalTech--7%
    6) MIT--7%
    6) Chicago--7%

    9) Alice Lloyd College--8%
    9) Brown--8%
    9) Northwestern--8%
    9) Pomona--8%
    9) UPenn--8%

    Alice Lloyd College is in Kentucky & has a fulltime enrollment of about 573 students & 19 or so part-time students. ACT mid-range is 18 to 23.
    edited November 13
    · Reply · Share
  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1672 replies14 threads Senior Member
    ^^^Or, Duke and Vandy are better at marketing than Princeton and MIT.
    · Reply · Share
  • sushirittosushiritto 4216 replies13 threads Senior Member
    I LOVE rankings. :love:
    · Reply · Share
  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1454 replies35 threads Senior Member
    edited November 13
    Selectivities, in the form of acceptance rates, are meaningless without data on the applicant pools. A school that more students feel qualified to apply for will have lower acceptance rate, everything else being equal. Significantly more students feel they're qualified to apply to Vandy than MIT, so the average quality of its applicants is correspondingly lower.
    edited November 13
    · Reply · Share
  • Data10Data10 3107 replies10 threads Senior Member
    I didn't read the article, but there are several other schools with acceptance rate below 10%. For example, Curtis Institute of Music typically has an acceptance rate ranging from 3 to 5%. Colburn and Julliard are not much higher. Some of the military schools also reach below 10%, including one ranked among USNWR top 25 LACs.
    · Reply · Share
  • merc81merc81 10601 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 13
    @Data10
    Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.
    edited November 13
    · Reply · Share
  • LindagafLindagaf 9490 replies507 threads Senior Member
    Why aren’t we all talking about Alice Lloyd College? I’ve never heard of it. Why is this college so selective and can we learn anything from whatever is making it so selective?
    · Reply · Share
  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2550 replies36 threads Senior Member
    Lindagaf wrote: »
    Why aren’t we all talking about Alice Lloyd College? I’ve never heard of it. Why is this college so selective and can we learn anything from whatever is making it so selective?

    Alice Lloyd has about 600 students and only admits students from certain counties in Appalachia. They are one of the work colleges. I expect they get many applications from students outside Appalachia due to free tuition offer, driving their selectivity lower.
    · Reply · Share
  • merc81merc81 10601 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 14
    The extraordinary acceptance rate for Alice Lloyd as posted above may be implausible. IPEDS, as an alternative source, registers a rate of 28% for the fall of 2018.

    https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=Alice+lloyd&s=all&id=156189#admsns
    edited November 14
    · Reply · Share
  • PublisherPublisher 8791 replies101 threads Senior Member
    2018-2019 Alice Lloyd College received 4,720 applications & accepted 365 (about 7.7%).

    Located in Kentucky. 95% white. 573 fulltime students & 19 part-time students.
    · Reply · Share
  • merc81merc81 10601 replies164 threads Senior Member
    edited November 14
    Publisher wrote: »
    2018-2019 Alice Lloyd College received 4,720 applications & accepted 365 (about 7.7%).

    This seems to show where a mistake could have arisen. In order to enroll a typical class, Alice Lloyd would need to accept over 1300 applicants (based on yield indications from IPEDS).
    edited November 14
    · Reply · Share
  • RichInPittRichInPitt 1259 replies17 threads Senior Member
    edited November 14
    1NJParent wrote: »
    ^That may not be incorrect. Not sure where they obtained average scores from, but mathematically, these numbers could be consistent.

    Mathematically, in theory. I find it extremely unlikely. There would need to be a substantial number of very low scores in the bottom 25% and a skewed distribution.

    I suspect it’s closer to 1470-1480.
    edited November 14
    · Reply · Share
  • dadof2ddadof2d 219 replies14 threads Junior Member
    Alice Lloyd has a 48% first year retention rate and a 7% 4 year graduation rate. The selectivity must be based on the tuition benefit for students from 108 Appalachian counties. According to their website:

    Full-time students from within this territory will have their cost of education met by a combination of grants, scholarships and participation in the Student Work Program.
    · Reply · Share
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2513 replies5 threads Senior Member
    "Or, Duke and Vandy are better at marketing than Princeton and MIT."

    Two use ED, one SCEA, one EA, so Duke's and Vandy's acceptance rates are artificially higher. If all schools used EA, I think Duke and Vandy acceptance rates would probably double, or close to it.
    · Reply · Share
  • Data10Data10 3107 replies10 threads Senior Member
    jzducol wrote: »
    Based on the acceptance rate, Duke is more selective than Princeton and Vandy is more selective than MIT :)
    ^^^Or, Duke and Vandy are better at marketing than Princeton and MIT.
    There are many factors in selectivity beyond acceptance rate, so looking at acceptance rate alone is a misleading way of comparing selectivity.

    One key factor is applicant pool and related admission criteria. Alice Lloyd's acceptance rate has been questioned, so instead I'll compare University of Pennsylvania and US Naval Academy. Both colleges had a similar acceptance rate of between 8 and 9% in 2018, and both are highly ranked in USNWR. However, this does not mean they are similarly selective. Instead they have completely different applicant pools and admission criteria, making it silly to compare the two. A particular kid might have great chances at Penn and poor at Navy or vice versa.

    The same principle applies when comparing two colleges that are both primarily academic colleges. For example, Caltech and Pomona had a similar acceptance rate and are both smaller colleges in CA that are well ranked in USNWR. However, they have completely different applicant pools and different admission criteria. Most would probably say Caltech is more selective due to Caltech's self selecting applicant pool. However, Caltech is self selecting towards a particular unique subgroup that is generally high stat stem kids, which isn't Pomona's main focus. As such, I'd expect many Caltech admits would be rejected at Pomona due to being an awful fit, including the varied areas of study among other things.

    A related factor is the varied degrees of selectivity and admit rate within the college and for different groups applying. For example, in 2018 Cornell's Dyson School had a 3% admit rate -- lower than any college on the list above. However, Cornell's Hotel School had a much higher 21% admit rate. Just looking at the average admit rate has little to do with the relative admit rate selectivity for a particular group of students within that college.

    Cornell Dyson's admit rate was much higher this year than in 2018 because they doubled the class size in 2019, which brings up another key factor. The widely varying class sizes makes in awkward to draw conclusions from varied admit rates. If all the 4-year colleges in the US suddenly admitted a similar number of students, then the lowest admit rate colleges in that year would probably look something like below. The larger number of applicants means that specific subgroups within those schools are likely extremely selective.

    Colleges Receiving Most Applications
    1. UCLA
    2. UCSD
    3. USB
    4. UCI
    5. UCSB

    I could list many more issues. It can be interesting to compare admit rates, but I wouldn't recommend using the relative admit rates for much more than amusement. There are far more accurate ways to gauge relative selectivity. Along the lines of that amusement, the 13 colleges with lowest admit rate as listed in IPEDS most recent year (2017) are below. 5/13 are HYPSM; 3/13 are music/arts conservatories; 1 is a LAC; and 1 is a military school. One common trait all of these varied groups share is they are especially affordable for near median income families. Most have near $0 expected cost to parents for typical near median income families.

    Lowest Admit Rate 4-Year Colleges: IPEDS
    1. Curtis -- 3%
    2. Harvard/Stanford -- 5%
    4. Colburn/Juliard/Princeton -- 6%
    7. Columbia/MIT/Yale -- 7%
    10. Brown/Caltech/Navy/Pomona -- 8%
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity